Leitrim manager Andy Moran speaks to his players before Monday’s FBD Connacht clash against Sligo at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Andy Moran’s first game as Leitrim Senior team manager ended in defeat in an historic FBD Insurance Connacht League clash in the NUI Galway Air Dome at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence on Monday evening, a slicker Sligo getting the better of the Green & Gold by four points.
The first ever official inter-county match to take place indoors, Monday’s FBD League clash was the first chance for Leitrim supporters to see their team in their new McKeever gear under the management of the former Mayo footballer of year but unfortunately it was Sligo who emerged with the victory.
The game also saw the return of Emlyn Mulligan to the Leitrim colours while Gortletteragh’s Jack Heslin also made a welcome return in the halfback line.
In truth, Sligo set the pace for much of this game with the impressive Niall Murphy putting the Yeatsmen on the road to victory after just five minutes when he got in behind the Leitrim defence field a long ball before firing low to fire to the net.
The Yeatsmen led 1-8 to 0-4 at one stage in the first half but with Darragh Rooney firing home a goal in the second quarter, Leitrim started a fierce fightback that yielded points for Ryan O’Rourke and Keith Beirne as Leitrim managed to tie the scores before halftime.
However, that 1-10 apiece scoreline at the break came with a cost as Cillian McGloin was black carded just before halftime and Sligo took advantage in the third quarter, holding Leitrim to just one point while knocking over eight points themselves.
With time running out, Leitrim staged a late fightback with points from Keith Beirne, Riordan O’Rourke and Paul Keaney before a David Bruen score left just two points in it with less than two minutes to go.
However, the Sligo men would outscore Leitrim by three points to one in the final stages to run out four point winners.
SEE THIS WEEK’S LEITRIM OBSERVER FOR REPORT & REACTION
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