Ballinamore end famine to win Leitrim SFC
Leitrim Senior Football Championship Final
BALLINAMORE SEAN O’HESLINS 1-16 MOHILL 0-17
Ballinamore Sean O’Heslins ended a 31 year famine to win their 21st Leitrim SFC title after a classic final with defending champions Mohill on Sunday.
Newly appointed Leitrim manager, Andy Moran, was in attendance at Páirc Seán MacDiarmada and surely liked what he saw as both teams served up a superb game of football.
In a match of very fine margins, Niall McGovern’s 57th minute goal and two fine saves by Ballinamore goalkeeper, Darren Maxwell, ultimately proved decisive.
A late charge by Mohill saw them score three injury-time points to reduce the deficit to a single point, but the excellent McGovern finally made the win safe for Ballinamore with the final score of the match.
It was a rip-roaring tie from the very start with both teams committed to attacking football and a high degree of skill on show.
The ball moved quickly from one end of the field to the other, and by half-time Mohill had the narrowest of advantages, leading by 0-10 to 0-9.
The defending champions had stretched their advantage to three points by the 42nd minute, but Ballinmore then came with a purple patch of scoring that ultimately swung the game their way.
They hit four points without reply to move one ahead before McGovern struck for the goal after good work by Wayne McKeon and Shane Moran to create the opportunity.
Mohill battled right to the finish, but in the end Ballinamore just about held on for a famous victory that unleashed a tidal wave of emotion from their supporters when the final whistle blew.
Scorers for Ballinamore Sean O'Heslins: W McKeon 0-5 (4f); N McGovern 1-1; L Murphy 0-3 (3f); S Moran, T Prior 0-2 each; P Connaughton, S Harte, McKiernan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Mohill: K Beirne 0-10 (7f, 1 ’45); J Reynolds, K Keegan 0-2 each; S Quinn, D Beck, E Harkin 0-1 each.
BALLINAMORE SEAN O'HESLINS: D Maxwell; L Ferguson, M Murphy, B Banks; K McHugh, O McCaffrey, W McKeon; S Moran, D McGovern; M McKiernan, N McGovern, P Connaughton; L Murphy, T Prior, M McGrory. Subs: S Harte for McGrory (37), C McHugh for Connaughton (53), P Reynolds for Murphy (57), B McGovern for L Murphy (61).
MOHILL: P Tighe; D Mitchell, A Armstrong, O Madden; J Mitchell, S Quinn, D Beck; K Keegan, D Flynn; E Harkin, K Beirne, S Harkin; A McLoughlin, R Kennedy, J Reynolds. Subs: F McGuinness for Kennedy (39), C Canning for McLoughlin (53), R Gordon for E Harkin (59).
REF: G Foley (Melvin Gaels)