Allen Gaels picked up their first point of the Connacht Gold SFC when a blistering late rally that saw them score 1-3 ensured they rescued a draw against high flying Leitrim Gaels in Shane McGettigan Park last Saturday.
After two losses in their opening games, the Drumshanbo men were standing on the edge of the relegation battle had they lost this game against a Leitrim Gaels team who had easily defeated Melvin Gaels, a team that had beaten the Drumshanbo men by three points just a week before.
However, with the visitors leading by six points, it looked as if they were heading for a third defeat only for the Drumshanbo Gaels to launch an amazing recovery, scoring an unanswered 1-3 to snatch a vital draw.
James Flynn was a key figure for the Drumshanbo men, scoring nine points from frees in total as well as nailing an injury time free to ensure a share of the spoils.
For Leitrim Gaels, the draw is a significant disappointment in their second outing as they seemed to have the game in their control only to slip up at the end. Their cause was not helped by the dismissal of the influential Colm Moreton just before halftime.
Without Moreton’s presence around the middle of the park, Allen Gaels started to get a foothold in the game while an injury to Moreton’s brother Enda also heaped a little more misery on the Leitrim men.
However, Leitrim Gaels can wrap up their qualification for the quarter-finals next weekend with a victory over a struggling Drumreilly in Leitrim Village. A win would leave them five points clear of Drumreilly with one game to go and safely in the quarter-finals.
Leitrim Gaels started as if they meant business as they went 1-5 to no score ahead in the opening 25 minutes, the goal coming from Eunan Treacy as well as excellent points from Leitrim Senior county duo Aidan Flynn & David Bruen.
But those final five minutes proved very costly for Leitrim Gaels as James Flynn landed four vital frees for Allen Gaels before the halftime whistle to one from Leitrim Gaels, leaving the visitors 1-6 to 0-4 ahead at the interval.
More importantly, a straight red card for Colm Moreton that followed a clash after he won a free robbed Leitrim Gaels of a key player in the middle of the park.
Allen Gaels started the second half with two quick points but Leitrim Gaels responded well with three unanswered points to actually extend their lead. The teams then swapped scores but Leitrim Gaels looked pretty comfortable with a six point lead.
Allen Gaels pulled back two more points but the game took a major change when Ciaran and Shane Walsh combined to set up Shane for a goal that left just a point in it. With time almost up, James Flynn, who scored nine points from frees on the day, nailed a difficult 30 metre free to ensure a draw.
Allen Gaels have a bye this weekend before a potential winner takes all clash with Drumreilly while Leitrim Gaels take on Drumreilly in Carrickmakeegan.