Leitrim Top Division After Last-Gasp Antrim Win

Domhnaill Flynn converted a last-gasp free to hand Leitrim the narrowest of victories over unlucky Antrim, 0-14 to 1-10.

Ryan Murray early goal saw Antrim lead 1-6 to 0-6 at the break only to come unstuck at the death as Terry Hyland’s men kept pace with Derry at the table top.

The victory, Leitrim’s third of the season sees them sit atop division four and makes a promotion push very real heading into the second half of the campaign.

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Leitrim opened the scoring with a Ryan O’Rourke free, the lead stretched when Jack Heslin blazed over the bar.

Antrim hit back with a spectacular goal from Ryan Murray as he collected a long 50-yard pass and buried a rocket into the far right hand corner of Diarmuid McKiernan’s goal.

Colum Duffin would follow up a minute later and Murray would add a point after he collected a long ball when surrounded by three defenders and he still beat them to the score.

Ryan O’Rourke tapped over a free before Murray notched two quick points for a dominant Antrim who also hitting some bad wides.

Ryan O’Rourke converted a free to leave the halftime score at 1-6 to 0-6 in favour of Antrim.

Darragh Rooney and Ryan O’Rourke cut the lead to just a point inside two minutes of the restart, Antrim hit back with a point from a Patrick McBride free, Domhnaill Flynn replied on four minutes.

Mark Sweeney received a black card on 12 minutes for pulling down a player, Ryan O’Rourke missing the free.

Antrim incredibly stretched their lead via Ryan Murray, and when Murray turned to offload the ball, Fitzpatrick was on hand to collect and blast over the bar.

Ryan O’Rourke cleverly used the wind to drift his shot from the right wing over the bar on 53 minutes and after nine minutes of the black card, Leitrim finally drew level when Darragh Rooney scored a lovely point to tie the scores.

Leitrim pushed on and despite Antrim getting their full 15 back, they suffered an immediate blow when Patrick McBride received a black card.

But this was quickly followed by a black card for Micheal McWeeney and even this came with fortune for Leitrim as referee Barry Judge blew for the foul as the ball went to Matthew Fitzpatrick bearing down on goal, Ryan Murray putting over the free.

Leitrim levelled once more with a Flynn free on 64 minutes and Mark Plunkett put Leitrim ahead, But Antrim didn’t have long to wait for an equaliser when Patrick McBride tapped over a free.

With a scramble for the ball, Antrim tried to come out of their defence but weren’t able to make it through a scrum and when referee Judge awarded a free, Domhnaill Flynn held his nerve to secure a Leitrim win.

Leitrim: Diarmuid McKiernan, Micheal McWeeney, Paddy Maguire, Aidan Flynn, Shane Quinn, Mark Plunkett, Ray Mulvey, Shane Moran, Pierce Dolan (Sean Flanagan 69), Sean McWeeney, Domhnaill Flynn, Jack Heslin (Darragh Rooney 29) Damien Moran (Gary Plunkett 62), Evan Sweeney (Emlyn Mulligan 64), Ryan O’Rourke

Scorers: Ryan O’Rourke 0-5, 4f, Darragh Rooney & Domhnaill Flynn (3f) 0-3 each, Ray Mulvey, Mark Plunkett & Jack Heslin 0-1 each

Antrim: Padraig Nugent, Patrick McCormack (Conor Hamill HT), Ricky Johnston, Patrick Gallagher, Niall Delargy (Eoghan McCabe 62), Michael McCarry, Declan Lynch, Mark Sweeney, Martin Johnston, Kevin Quinn (Ruairi McCann 66), Stephen Beatty (Owen McKeown 52), Patrick McBride, Colum Duffin, Ruairi McCann, Ryan Murray.

Scorers: Ryan Murray 1-5, 2f, Matthew Fitzpatrick & Patrick McBride 0-2 each, Colum Duffin 0-1

Referee: Barry Judge (Sligo)