Brendan Gallagher challenges a Galway player for the high ball. Photo by Willie Donnellan
Three first half goals against the wind, two coming directly from turnovers, saw Leitrim fall to Galway in a rain soaked Clonbur in the third round of the FBD Insurance Connacht League.
In a game dominated by driving rain and an increasingly heavy and sodden pitch, two goals inside the first seven minutes from Dessie Connelly and a Frankie Burke penalty put the Tribesmen in control and despite a serious Leitrim surge that saw them reduce the eight point gap to just one, the damage was done by that opening burst.
Leitrim produced another burst of scoring that underlines the potential in the team as they hit seven points in eight minutes, Darragh Rooney, Donal Wrynn (free), Darren Carberry (2), Brendan Gallagher (2) and Shane Quinn on target as Galway's eight point lead was reduced to just one.
Crucially, Leitrim were never able to get the score they needed to draw level and managed just one more point, from Noel Plunkett 22 minutes into the second half, as a third Galway goal from Connelly ended the game as a contest.
With Galway leading 3-3 to 0-7 and the wind at their backs, Leitrim mounted stern resistance in the second half but as the conditions detoriated and players were simply exhausted by the heavy pitch, scores were increasingly scarce with Galway managing just three, two of which came in the first two minutes, to Leitrim's one.
The win leaves Galway through to the FBD League Final against Roscommon, which may yet be held in conjunction with their last round game next Sunday. Leitrim face Sligo in Cloone this Wednesday, January 17, as they finish off their campaign.
A special word of praise to the Clonbur GAA Club, and their Manorhamilton born secretary Barry Lambe, who did a tremendous job in difficult conditions and put on a great show, making everyone feel so welcome.
FULL REPORT AND PICTURES IN THIS WEDNESDAY'S LEITRIM OBSERVER