Allianz N F League (Round 3)
Leitrim (0-14) Antrim (1-10)
Antrim lost out to previously unbeaten Leitrim at a windy Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada at Carrick on Shannon when the home side came late to secure the points with a late, 75th minute Domnaill Flynn strike.
The Saffron’s had retained the lead secured when a 6th minute Ryan Murray strike yielded a goal, and they held their advantage until well into the second half, and although the home side did draw abreast when Darragh Rooney raised a 60th minute white flag, Patrick Mc Bride’s reply a few minutes later suggested an away win was possible.
Leitrim, with the stiff breeze at their backs, drew alongside their visitors again as the game clock approached the 70th minute after Mark Plunkett came forward to grab a point and when replacement Domnaill Flynn added another deep into time added the Connaught men had saved the day.
Leitrim following back to back wins over Wexford and Wicklow started their third league assignment against the visiting Antrim with a spring in their step and although facing the stiff breeze points secured in back to back fashion by Ryan O’ Rourke and Jack Heslin saw them away in style.
Antrim still in search of the first points of the season were on the board with a 4th minute Ryan Murray point and when Colum Duffin added a goal a couple of minutes later the wind assisted Saffron’s were in front.
They made full use of the elements and the accuracy of Ryan Murray in the next period and with the Lamh Dhearg sharp shooter raising a couple more white flags, and late call up Matthew Fitzpatrick adding another, they had nipped 1-04 to 0-02 ahead by the 12th minute.
The next period proved erratic and quite tetchy and although the scoreboard attendant was not given employment for a time the man in the middle was quite busy brandishing a handful of yellow cards before a 22nd Ryan O’ Rourke point restored order to proceedings and added to the home side’s tally.
Antrim were quick to make reply via Ryan Murray as the corner man added a couple more points and although the home side hit back via Ray Mulvey and replacement Darragh Rooney Lenny Harbinson’s men were four points clear, 1-06 to 0-05 ahead at the 35th minute.
Stoppages galore in the first period ensured a whopping 7 minutes were to be added and the home side came back with a further point from the ever accurate Ryan O’ Rourke, which reduced the deficit a little with the Saffron’s taking respite with a three point advantage 1-06 to 0-06.
Leitrim began in the second half wind assisted and were quick to take advantage of the elements with Darragh Rooney soon splitting the posts and when Ryan O’ Rourke weighed in with another they were within the minimum and seemingly on the positive trail.
Antrim were quick to make reply however as Matthew Fitzpatrick raced through to split the posts and similarly after another Domnaill Flynn point reduced the deficit to the minimum again Patrick Mc Bride sent a 35 metre free between the posts to secure the two point cushion.
The home side wasted a couple of opportunities to further employ the scoreboard attendant but with the elements assisting them they kept up the fight and a 56th minute Ryan O’ Rourke point, followed by one by Darragh Rooney, had the home side back on terms.
Antrim regained the lead when Ryan Murray’s sent one over at the other end, but as tempers frayed somewhat both the sides were reduced to 14. Leitrim’s centre back Mark Plunkett advanced to finish in the style and bring his team level and it looked like the game would end in a share of the points.
Time remained however and stoppages aplenty in the second half ensured a healthy five minutes were to be added and the home side took full advantage with a 74th minute strike from Domnaill Flynn which sailed directly between the posts to see the Connaught men retain their unbeaten record.
Terry Hyland’s Leitrim remain firmly on the course to claim the Division 4 honours, but luckless Antrim are without a point and promotions hopes have gone.
Darragh Mc Kiernan
Michael Mc Weeney
Mark Plunkett (0-01)
Ray Mulvey (0-01)
Sean Mc Weeney
Domnaill Flynn (0-03)
Jack Heslin (0-01)
Ryan O’ Rourke (0-05)
Darragh Rooney (0-03) for J Heslin
Gary Plunkett for D Moran
Emlyn Mulligan for E Sweeney
Patrick Mc Cormick
Michael Mc Carry
Patrick Mc Bride (0-02)
Colum Duffin (1-00)
Matthew Fitzpatrick (0-02)
Ryan Murray (0-06)
Owen Mc Keown for S Beatty