Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

Leitrim overcome London in the Connacht Senior Football Championship quarter-final, thanks to goals from Ryan O’Rourke (2) and Donal Wrynn; Andy Moran’s side hold off a late fightback from the hosts at McGovern Park, Ruislip

Last Updated: 17/04/22 7:32 pm

Donal Wrynn of Leitrim celebrates after scoring his side's second goal

Donal Wrynn of Leitrim celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal

A late fightback was not enough for London as Leitrim held on by the skin of their teeth to leave the English capital with a 3-12 to 2-11 win in the Connacht quarter-final.

Michael Maher’s charges had overturned Leitrim in the National League, but it was Andy Moran’s side who prevailed in Ruislip to set up a provincial semi-final against Mayo or Galway.

London, meanwhile head for the Tailteann Cup.

Andy Moran picked up his first championship win as manager

Andy Moran picked up his first championship win as manager

Leitrim landed the first blows in this entertaining fixture and were up and running when Darragh Rooney opened their account before Ryan O’Rourke joined him on the scorers’ list. O’Rourke would add to his haul from the penalty spot as Leitrim raced into a five-point lead.

London finally got going, and they were back in the game when Henry Walsh got them on the board. Chris Farley nailed two frees as they worked their way back into contention.

Leitrim continued to keep their side of the scoreboard ticking along to keep them in control of the match. But London found momentum, and when the sides went into tunnel, Leitrim were only ahead by one.

Ryan O'Rourke scores from the penalty spot

Ryan O’Rourke scores from the penalty spot

Just like the first-half, Leitrim came flying out of the blocks as they looked to kill off any London hopes of a first Connacht Championship win since 2013.

The visitors went five points ahead once more and then it looked like they had the game wrapped up when Jack Heslin played in Donal Wrynn who finished to get the second Leitrim goal.

The home side were not giving up, and Sean Hickey finished off a fine move to find the net.

The London comeback looked well and truly on when Fearghal McMahon scored a beauty. The ball fell to him and he spotted Leitrim keeper Darren Maxwell off his line.

The London crowd burst into life and it was nervy for Leitrim. James Hynes would make it a one-point game, and London had the numerical advantage when Evan Sweeney was black-carded just before the board went up to show six minutes of injury-time.

The Exiles had numerous chances to force extra-time. Conal Gallagher and captain Laim Gavaghan should have drawn London level, but their efforts failed to find their target.

London were left to rue missed chances, and O’Rourke grabbed a third Leitrim goal with the last play of the game to seal the four-point victory.

London: Noel Maher; Eoin Walsh, Matt Moynihan, Nathan McElwaine; Ronan Sloan, Cahir Healy, Evan Wynne; Stephen Dornan (0-1), Thomas Lenihan (0-1); Conal Gallagher, Matthew Walsh, Liam Gallagher; Chris Farley 0-2, 0-2 frees), Liam Gavaghan (0-4, 0-4f), Henry Walsh (0-2).

Subs: E McCormick for C Farley (28), James Gallagher for Henry Walsh (44), James Hynes (0-1) for Thomas Lenihan (47), Fearghal McMahon (1-0) for Enda McCormick (53), Sean Hickey ( 1-0) for Cahir Healy (57).

Leitrim: Darren Maxwell; Mark Diffley, Donal Casey, Paddy Maguire; James Rooney, Shane Quinn, David Bruen; Pearce Dolan (0-3), Donal Wrynn (1-3, 0-1 45 ‘); Domhnaill Flynn, Mark Plunkett, Conor Dolan (0-1); Ryan O’Rourke (2-2, 1-0p), Shane Moran, Darragh Rooney (0-2, 0-1f).

Subs: Evan Sweeney (0-1) for Shane Moran (49), Jack Heslin for Conor Dolan (55), Conor Reynolds for Paddy Maguire (62), Riordan O’Rourke for Darragh Rooney (65), Emlyn Mulligan for Domhnaill Flynn ( 72).

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan).

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