Keelan McHugh attempts a point for Sean O'Heslin's Picture: Willie Donnellan
Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s laid down an early marker for this year’s Connacht Gold Senior Championship but the biggest result of round 2 was Drumreilly surprising Melvin Gaels in Drumshanbo on Saturday evening.
The big game of the weekend was undoubtedly the meeting of reigning champions Aughawillan and their neighbours and fierce rivals Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s in Avantcard Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada with the town team taking the bragging rights.
Pearce Dolan got Aughawillan off to a brilliant start when he cut through the Ballinamore defence to find the net just two minutes into the game. But O’Heslin’s soon found their rhythm and five unanswered points from Luke Murphy (3), Niall McGovern and Shane Moran put Ballinamore two in front after 21 minutes.
Two late frees from Dolan and Ciaran Gilheany ensured the game’s went into the halftime break level at 1-5 to 0-8 apiece but it was Ballinamore who started the second half best, Niall McGovern scoring two points either side of a well taken Tom Prior goal.
But the game strangely descended into a lacklustre affair, with Aughawillan dominating possession but kicking one bad wides. Points from Gary & Mark Plunkett cut the gap back to two but with Pearce Dolan receiving a black card, Aughawillan challenge faded with O’Heslin’s winning by three points.
The big surprise of the round was Drumreilly’s 1-11 to 2-4 win over a previously fancied Melvin Gaels who slumped to their second defeat. A fisted goal from Declan Maxwell gave Drumreilly a 1-6 to 1-3 halftime lead and despite the Kinlough men finding the net for a second time, Drumreilly scored a massive victory in Drumshanbo.
Former champions Mohill scored a nine point victory over Fenagh St Caillin’s winning 1-18 to 1-9, a second defeat for last year’s Intermediate champions while Mohill maintain their 100% record.
Allen Gaels also overcome St Patrick’s Dromahair in a tense encounter in Carrick, winning 1-14 to 0-14. The Drumshanbo men led by nine points at one stage in the first half, a goal from Ciaran Walsh proving crucial in the long run.
Dromahair cut the gap to seven points at halftime but incredibly a sustained fightback from the north Leitrim men saw them twice close the gap to two points. But they were unable to get any closer with James Flynn proving the match winner with seven points over the hour.
In the Smith Monumentals Intermediate Championship, Annaduff got the better of Leitrim Gaels in the big game of the round, winning 3-11 to 1-7. Alan Glancy got Annaduff off to a great start with a fourth minute goal as they led 1-5 to 0-3 at halftime.
Leitrim Gaels cut the gap to a goal midway through the second half but two goals from David O’Dowd and Alan Glancy sealed a big win for last year’s defeated finalists.
Drumkeerin put in a tremendous second half against Carrigallen but still fell to a 1-10 to 2-6 defeat, having trailed 1-4 to 0-2 at the halftime interval while Aughavas proved too strong for Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher in their tie in Drumshanbo, the 1-17 to 0-11 scoreline giving them their first win of the campaign.
A truly bizarre game came in Cloone where Eslin led 1-12 to 0-5 after 42 minutes yet ended up nearly an injury time equaliser to force a draw against Bornacoola on a 1-16 to 3-10 scoreline. The draw is the second for the Bors in two outings as they were denied the victory this time.
Full results from the weekend are as follows:
Connacht Gold Leitrim Senior Football Championship
Group 1: Drumreilly 1-11 Melvin Gaels 2-4; Mohill 1-18 Fenagh St Caillin’s 1-9
Group 2: Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s 1-12 Aughawillan 1-9; Allen Gaels 1-14 St Patrick’s Dromahair 0-14
Smith Monumentals Leitrim Intermediate Football Championship
Group 1: Drumkeerin 2-6 Carrigallen 1-10; Leitrim Gaels 1-7 Annaduff 3-11
Group 2: Bornacoola 3-10 Eslin 1-16; Aughavas 1-17 Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher 0-11