Having being held to a draw in their opening league game, Leitrim slumped to defeat at the hands of Sligo in the Allianz National Hurling Division 3B on Sunday last. In truth Leitrim were comprehensively beaten by neighbours Sligo in Markievicz Park.
The game was decided in the first half with Sligo racing to a 1-4 to no score lead after 12 minutes against a strong breeze in freezing conditions at Markievicz Park. Gary Waldron got an early goal in the third minute as Sligo blitzed Leitrim with some quick passing, tackling and striking.
Sligo raced to a 1-2 to 0-0 lead after only four minutes and further points from Waldron, Niall Cadden, Ciaran Brenan and Brian McMahon gave Sligo an emphatic 1-9 to 0-2 lead at the break. Leitrim’s only response came from Clement Cunniffe who converted two frees.
Leitrim were second best to practically every ball in the first period and Sligo could have ben further ahead at the break if they had converted all of their chances.
Despite being against the breeze Leitrim started the second half strongly and when they goaled from close range through Zac Moradi, who was impressive throughout, after 52 minutes, they lifted their game with Sligo less sharp than they had been in the first half.
Sligo plugged away however and added scores through Niall Cadden, sub Aidan Morrison (2), Gary Waldron, and in the closing minutes after a barren period they landed two monster points from midfield from the stick of Benny Kenny to secure the points.
Despite the Leitrim fightback and scrambled goal midway through the second half the Sligo back lines were excellent throughout with Ethan McGowan, Ronan Cox and Liam Reidy in particular dominant in the tackle and quick to the loose ball, setting up scoring opportunities for a slightly lethargic forward line that failed to capitalise on the wind advantage.
J. Glancy, T. Glancy, V. McDermott, S. McTiernan, P. Clancy, M. Quinn, M. Poniard, G. McGovern, K. McGrath, Z. Moradi (1-0), C. Cunniffe (0-6), S. Fox, K. O’Connor, D. McGovern, M. Dolan. Subs: B. Mulvey for Dolan (HT), M. O’Donoghue for Fox (50 mins), P. McKiernan for Clancy (61 mins), C. Beattie for G. McGovern (67 mins).
Declan Reidy, Fiachra Coyne, Ronan Cox, John Kelly, Jamie Kenny, Liam Reidy, Ethan McGowan, Brendan Kenny (0-2), David Collery, Kevin Gilmartin, Brian McMahon (0-2), Niall Cadden (0-3), Gary Waldron (1-5), Ciaran Brenan (0-1), Tom Conneely. Subs used: Michael Gilmartin for Kevin Gilmartin (25 mins), Aidan Morrison (0-2) for Tom Conneely (HT), Colm Parke for Gary Waldron (50 mins), Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch for Ciaran Brenan (60), Martin Mulligan for Brian McMahon (60).
Referee: Christopher Browne (Fermanagh)