No shock in the Big Apple as the Football Championship throws in




Leitrim 4-19 New York 0-07

Leitrim captain Emlyn Mulligan swept aside a fragile New York side at Gaelic Park in the Bronx with an incredible scoring performance that will serve as a signal intent for their Connacht Championship.

Mulligan scored 3-7 of his team's impressive haul as the visitors avoided any potential banana skin on a warm afternoon in front of a close to sell-out crowd and joint-manager Barney Breen will now look forward to semi-final clash with the winners of Sligo and London.

"We were happy enough with the win," he said. "There were tough conditions out there. We were apprehensive enough all weekend."

Mulligan was ably assisted by a dominant performance from midfield by Tomas Beirne while the half-back line of Danny Beck, Gary Reynolds and Wayne McKeon advanced at will to overwhelm the New york Backs.

The afternoon started badly for New York, who finished with 13 men after CJ Molloy and Michael Annet were shown second yellow cards, when former Monaghan player Rory Woods, who had been named at full forward, failed as expected to make the throw-in with Armagh native Kevin McGeeney taking his place in the line-up at full forward.

They started brightly however and centre forward Jason Kelly, who would be subsequently withdrawn due to injury, opened the scoring with a sixth-minute free.

But then the pre-match favourites took control with three quick points before McKeon latched onto a tenth minute pass from Mulligan and squared cleverly to corner forward Robbie Lowe to punch home.

Mulligan scored the first of his four goals after a great Beirne pass in behind the captain's marker and one quick move on to this right foot had him in the perfect angle to blast home from 15 yards out.

From there on, it was a formality and after Justin Burke sent over a free in injury time to make it 2-8 to 0-5 at half-time, New York were merely spectators as Mulligan continued his dominance with the placed ball while adding a goal early in the second half and his third in the dying minutes, two similar efforts which were slotted low beneath keeper Gavin Joyce.

New York brought Rory Woods on at half-time but he was only able to score the final of his team’s seven points as Leitrim marched on in convincing fashion.

LEITRIM: C McCrann; A Wynne (C Egan, 60), F McMorrow, P Maguire (E Williams, 75); D Beck, G Reynolds, W McKeon; T Beirne, D Sweeney (B Brennan, 56); P Brennan, E Mulligan (capt), G Hickey (Cox, 46); K Conlon (B Prior, 56), J Glancy, R Lowe.

NEW YORK: G Joyce; P Lambe (capt) (D O'Dwyer, 35), M O'Regan, D Jackson (R McGinley, 43); L Maguire, K Scally, A Raferty; G O'Driscoll, CJ Molloy; E Ward (C Hogan, 26), J Kelly (R Woods, 35), C Lynam; M Annett, K McGeeney (J Connolly, 74), J Burke.

Scorers for Leitrim: E Mulligan 3-7 (6f); R Lowe 1-1; J Glancy 0-3; T Beirne and B Brennan 0-2; W McKeon, G Hickey, D Sweeney, K Conlon (45) 0-1 each.

Scorers for New York: J Burke 0-3 (2f); R Woods 0-1 J Kelly (f), C Lynam, CJ Molloy 0-1 each.

Referee: Martin Higgins (Fermanagh).

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