Leitrim end decade long promotion wait

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New York , United States - 6 May 2018; Shane Quinn of Leitrim celebrates following the Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between New York and Leitrim at Gaelic Park in New York, USA. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leitrim 01-09 (12) London 00-07 (07)

Leitrim have been promoted to Division 3 of the Allianz Football League with two rounds to spare as Terry Hyland’s troops made it five wins from five when they saw off London at Avantcard Pairc Sean MacDiarmada.

This win also means that Leitrim will now look forward to a League final against Derry at the end of month in Croke Park, with both teams also set to do battle in the league in two-weeks’ time.

On the other hand, Leitrim’s day was characterized by wayward shooting as they only scored 1-9 from 27 attempts. It could have proved costly on another day, but credit to Hyland’s troops as they just about got over the line to secure their spot in a League final and promotion to the next division.

It was London who started the better as Leitrim failed to register a score with their first six attempts. Conor Doran and Liam Gavaghan notched early scorers for the visitors, but the hosts soon found their groove after Pierce Dolan set up Shane Quinn for their opening score and the game’s only goal.

Further points from Ryan O’ Rourke and Garry Plunkett left them three points to the good at the short whistle 1-4 to 0-04.

In the second half London failed to capitalize on Leitrim’s wasted chances, but delightful scores from Domhnaill Flynn and Aidan Flynn had them in cruse control.

London’s Gavaghan ended a long barren spell of 22 minutes without a score to keep them in the game.

Plunkett and Ray Mulvey hit over crucial scores for the home team to ensure that it would be Leitrim v Derry in the division final.

LEITRIM: Diarmuid McKiernan; Michael McWeeney, Paddy Maguire, Aidan Flynn; Shane Quinn, Mark Plunkett, Ray Mulvey; Dean McGovern, Shane Moran; Sean McWeeney, Domhnaill Flynn, Gary Plunkett; Ryan O’Rourke, Evan Sweeney, Pierce Dolan.

Subs: Darragh Rooney for Sweeney (HT), Damien Moran for Dolan (53), Eoin Ward for D Flynn (67), Emlyn Mulligan for O’Rourke (68), Cillian McGloin for Moran (70+3).

Scorers: Shane Quinn 1-0, Gary Plunkett, Ray Mulvey, and Ryan O’Rourke (1f) 0-2 each, Aidan Flynn, Evan Sweeney, and Domhnaill Flynn (f) 0-1 each.

LONDON: Daniel McDonagh; Matthew Moynihan, Conor O’Neill, Philip Butler; David Dunne, David Carrabine, Ryan Jones; Michael Clarke, Mark Gottsche; Pierce McGirr, Liam Gavaghan, Aidan McGarvey; Conor Doran, James Hynes, Barry Tully.

Subs: Fearghal McMahon for McGarvey (48), Liam Gallagher for Doran (48), Sean Hickey for Hynes (54), Niall Coffey for McGirr (60), John Winters for Jones (68).

Scorers: Liam Gavaghan 0-4 (3fs), Pierce McGirr, Fearghal McMahon, and Conor Doran (f) 0-1 each.