Goals from Mulhall and Nigel Dunne put the hosts into a commanding lead at half time, but 17 scoreless minutes allowed Leitrim gradually reel them in and it looked as if Ronan Kennedy’s late free would win the day before Willie Mulhall made his final, crucial intervention.
Scorers for Offaly: W Mulhall 1-6 (0-5f), N Dunne 1-2, N McNamee and N Darby (0-1f) 0-2 each, B Allen 0-1f.
Scorers for Leitrim: K Conlan 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-5f), R Kennedy 0-5 (0-1f), F Clancy and A McLoughlin 0-2 each, D Sweeney and S Moran 0-1 each.
OFFALY: A Mulhall; B Darby, E Rigney, J O’Connor; C Donohue, J Moloney, N Darby; G Guilfoyle, N Smith; P Sullivan, N McNamee, N Bracken; B Allen, N Dunne, W Mulhall.
Subs: A Sullivan for Allen (34 bc), E Carroll for P Sullivan (50), K Mullally for Bracken (50), D Hogan for Donohue (55), J Evans for Dunne (68)
LEITRIM: C McCrann; B Prior, R Gallagher, M McWeeney; N Woods, G Reynolds, P McGowan; D Sweeney, S Moran; S McWeeney, F Clancy, K Conlon; R Kennedy, J McGrail, A McLoughlin.
Subs: D Beck for Prior (23), J Connolly for McGowan (45), C Gilheaney for McWeeney (52), D Moran for Moran (57), C McGowan for F Clancy (63)
Referee: N Cullen (Fermanagh)