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Louth's Darren Marks attempts to block down Leitrim's Darragh Rooney at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada.
Louth's Darren Marks attempts to block down Leitrim's Darragh Rooney at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada.

All Ireland SFC Qualifier: Satisfying success for Leitrim

All Ireland SFC Round 2 Qualifier


By Daragh Small at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada

Damien Moran was one of the heroes for Leitrim as they knocked Louth out of the Championship.

Leitrim trailed by 1-7 to 0-9 at half-time after William Woods’ first half goal, but Louth also had corner back James Craven sent-off on a straight red card in the first half.

Louth finished with 12 men, but Leitrim flourished in the second half and despite his black card, Emlyn Mulligan matched Moran’s personal tally of six points in a stunning 10-point win.

Louth claimed a comfortable 2-26 to 1-19 victory at London in Round 1, and they made a fast start against a Leitrim outfit who were knocked out the Connacht semi-finals by Roscommon.

Their goal arrived in the third minute when Conor Grimes took advantage of Diarmuid McKiernan’s error from the Leitrim kick-out. Grimes found Woods and he finished to the top corner of the net. 

Ciarán Downey quickly tagged on another point and Ryan O’Rourke finally put Leitrim on the scoreboard in the fourth minute.

But they look overawed in the early stages and they received a massive blow when full-back Alan Armstrong got a black card for a trip on Tommy Durnin in the eighth minute.

Louth should have put the game beyond doubt, and points from Woods (free) and Declan Byrne gave them a comfortable 1-4 to 0-2 lead. But they began to kick wides and after 20 minutes Louth had registered six of those. 

Leitrim took heart from that and it needed the heroics of Derek Maguire to deny Darragh Rooney in the 19th minute before Grimes almost tapped a Downey long delivery to the net up the other end. 

Brendan Gallagher scored to reduce the arrears to 1-5 to 0-4 with 11 minutes remaining in the opening half. Then Ronan Holcroft was black carded after Woods had hit the post with another goal chance.

Leitrim had lived on the edge, but when Craven got red for a foul on Damien Moran, the home side rallied. Two massive points from Emlyn Mulligan before half-time meant Leitrim trailed by 1-7 to 0-9 at the interval.

Leitrim were awesome at the start of the second half and they kept Louth scoreless until the 50th minute. In the meantime Leitrim six points, with Mulligan influential throughout.

Woods finally scored a free but it was a brief reprieve with two points from Moran, and a Heslin effort giving Leitrim a 0-18 to 1-8 lead.

Mulligan got a black card with 11 minutes remaining but Leitrim pushed on, while Bevan Duffy and Emmet Carolan got black late on for Louth.

Scorers for Leitrim: Emlyn Mulligan 0-6 (3fs), Damien Moran 0-6, Jack Heslin 0-3, Darragh Rooney 0-3, Ryan O’Rourke 0-3 (1f), Donal Wrynn 0-1, Brendan Gallagher 0-1, Dean McGovern 0-1, Domhnaill Flynn 0-1.

Scorers for Louth: William Woods 1-7 (5fs, 1 ’45), Declan Byrne 0-3, Tommy Durnin 0-1, Ciaran Downey 0-1.

LEITRIM: Diarmuid McKiernan; Paddy Maguire, Alan Armstrong, Michael McWeeney; James Rooney, Shane Quinn, Noel Plunkett; Damien Moran, Donal Wyrnn; Darragh Rooney, Jack Heslin, Aidan Flynn; Ryan O’Rourke,, Emlyn Mulligan, Brendan Gallagher. 

Subs: James Mitchell for Alan Armstrong (9 BC), Dean McGovern for Aidan Flynn (45), Cillian McGloin for Brendan Gallagher (46), Eoin Ward for Darragh Rooney (57), Domhnaill Flynn for Emlyn Mulligan (61 BC), Nicholas McWeeney for Donal Wrynn (67).

LOUTH: Neil Gallagher; Darren Marks, Emmet Carolan, James Craven; Derek Maguire, Bevan Duffy, Anthony Williams; Andy McDonnell, Tommy Durnin; Ciaran Downey, Declan Byrne, Gerald McSorley; William Woods, Conor Grimes, Ronan Holcroft.

Subs: Ryan Burns for Ronan Holcroft (27 BC), Niall Conlon for Gerald McSorley (44), Hugh Osborne for Darren Marks (53), Jim McEneaney for Declan Byrne (63), Eoghan Lafferty for Anthony Williams (70).

REFEREE: Noel Mooney (Cavan).

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