Connacht SFC: Leitrim survive extra-time scare
Connacht Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final
LEITRIM 0-19 NEW YORK 1-15
By Chris Clarke at Gaelic Park
A last gasp charge by a determined Leitrim side downed a heroic display by New York at Gaelic Park.
Noel Plunkett, in the dying seconds, sliced right through the New York defence before putting over the decisive point. It was the lowest of moments for the home side and its supporters as Gaelic Park was a abuzz from well before the opening throw in.
Keith Beirne got Leitrim on the board first with a opening minute score, but that would be all for Brendan Guckian’s men for quite a while.
Hometown kid Shane Hogan dispatched a goal for New York. Jamie Clarke gathered the ball to the right of the posts before passing off to the Bronx born and raised Hogan, who neatly slipped the ball past keeper Diarmuid McKiernan.
Two minutes later New York’s other midfielder David Culhane put the home side up 1-1 to 0-1.
Clarke (two) and Kevin O’Grady added further points as New York led by six. Leitrim responded by hitting eight of the next nine points to lead at the break by one.
Emlyn Mulligan, who less than six months ago was helping Donegal NYC to a New York Senior Championship was instrumental in the Leitrim revival.
Another key figure was Dean McGovern, who made a significant impact following his introduction as a substitute.
With Mulligan in good form up front and Keith Beirne contributing nice scores Leitrim led by 0-9 to 1-5 at half-time despite New York’s flying start.
After the restart it remained hard fought with Beirne accurate as Leitrim hit the front courtesy of a Shane Quinn point late on.
But Daniel McKenna forced extra-time with a fine score, 0-15 to 1-12, as the drama continued between two evenly matched teams.
Clarke and O’Grady (two) landed points to edged New York three clear, but Leitrim stayed calm late on reeling off four scores without reply
Aiden Flynn and Darragh Rooney narrowed the gap to one before New York custodian tipped over a Quinn effort for the equaliser.
Then Noel Plunkett clipped the decisive winning score for Leitrim to cap a memorable comeback from the visitors.
Scorers for Leitrim: Keith Beirne 0-7 (4fs, 145), Emlyn Mulligan 0-3, Shane Quinn and Ryan O'Rourke 0-2 each, Darragh Rooney, Dean McGovern, Mark Plunkett, Aidan Flynn, and Noel Plunkett 0-1 each.
*Scorers for New York: *Jamie Clarke 0-5 (2fs), Shane Hogan 1-0, Kevin O'Grady and Tony Donnelly (2fs) 0-3 each, David Culhane, Luke Kelly, Neil Collins, and Daniel McKenna (f) 0-1 each.
LEITRIM: Diarmuid McKiernan; Paddy Maguire, Micheal McWeeney, Oisin Madden; James Rooney, Donal Wrynn, Shane Quinn; Mark Plunkett, Domhnaill Flynn; Jack Heslin, Emlyn Mulligan, Ryan O’Rourke; Darragh Rooney, Keith Beirne, Brendan Gallagher.
Subs: Dean McGovern for Flynn (21), Ronan Kennedy for Heslin (52), Ciaran Gaffney for Rooney (58), Noel Plunkett for Wrynn (71), D Rooney for Beirne (81).
NEW YORK: Vinny Cadden; Neil Collins, Donal Ward, Mike Creegan; Enda Williams, Tom Cunniffe, Matthew Queenan; David Culhane, Shane Hogan; Tony Donnelly, Jamie Clarke, Luke Kelly; Kevin O’Grady, Dalton McDonagh, David Freeman.
Subs: Daniel McKenna for Freeman (33), John Collins for Kelly (47), Paddy Boyle for Queenan (52), Aaron Cunningham for Donnelly (56), Keith Scally for Collins (61), JJ Matthews for Cunnigham (68, BC), Luke Kelly for Culhane (81).
REFEREE: D O’Mahoney (Tipperary).