The first arrived on 14 minutes when James Glancy’s pass found corner forward Ray Cox and his effort put the visitors 1-3 to 0-3 ahead.
But Carlow, with midfielders Brendan Murphy and Darragh Foley prominent, were level by half time (0-8 to 1-5). And Luke Dempsey’s men, with corner forwards Derek Hayden and Daniel St Ledger impressing went two points clear by the 42nd minute (0-10 to 1-5). But Leitrim levelled with points from Gerry Hickey and Clancy.
Then on 51 minutes, Cox was fouled and Glancy netted the resultant penalty (2-7 to 0-10).
Carlow dominated but were woefully inaccurate and a host of missed chances let Leitrim off the hook.
Scorers for Leitrim: James Glancy (Glencar-Manorhamilton) 1-3, 1-0 pen., 0-2f, R Cox 1-2, G Hickey 0-4f.
Scorers for Carlow: D Foley 0-5f, Brian Murphy 0-2f, C Murphy 0-2, E Finnegan, S Gannon, D St Ledger (f), D Hayden 0-1 each.
LEITRIM: C McCrann; A Wynne, C Egan, P Maguire; D Beck, W McKeon, James Glancy (St Mary’s); D Sweeney, D Lowe; P Brennan, R Lowe, G Hickey; A Croal, James Glancy (Glencar-Manorhamilton), R Cox.
Subs: C Sheridan for James Glancy (St Mary’s) (34); P McGowan for Hickey (62).
CARLOW: T O’Reilly; B Kavanagh, P McElligott, P Murphy; B Lambe, S Redmond, T Bolger; Brendan Murphy, D Foley; Brian Murphy, C Murphy, E Finnegan; D Hayden; S Gannon, D St Ledger.
Subs: B J Molloy for P Murphy (47) ; E Ruth for Finnegan (49); J J Smith for Gannon (60); J Murphy for C Murphy (65).
Referee: F Kelly (Longford).