A 13-point defeat to Roscommon saw their Connacht championship campaign grind to a halt in May, but the hosts bounced back to extend their summer journey with a four points win over their Munster visitors.
Waterford are still without a championship win since 2011 and Tom McGlinchy’s side will rue 13 wides – although two of them looked like they could have been awarded by the ponderous umpires – while Patrick Hurney also missed a 13 metre free from in front of the posts in the first- half. McGlinchey didn’t want to be drawn on his future after two years at the helm but he hinted that it might be time for a change.
“We’re still in Division 4 and we still haven’t won a championship game so there’s no progression. It’ll take time,” said McGlinchy. “When you’re playing football in a hurling county, it’s hard because the lure of hurling always wins out. Even next year - whoever is there and whoever’s playing - you just don’t know are fellas going to progress onto hurling. But there’s potential there.”
This tie was decided by Leitrim’s Ronan Kennedy either side of half-time. The Mohill forward brought his first-half tally to four point with two fine scores before the break to put his team seven points clear with another two straight after the restart.
Even when Liam Lawlor and sub Mark Ferncombe combined for the last four scores of the game there was no way back for Waterford.
“It’s a good day out. Despite the conditions, I thought we were worth it. There was bit of response from the boys and they played well for large parts of the game,” said Leitrim manager Shane Ward. “We spoke about it before, playing well for 15 and then lying low for 15 but I thought we were worth it and were really good for large parts of the game.”
B Flynn; K McHugh, R Gallagher, P Maguire; S McWeeney, G Reynolds (c), J Rooney; P McGowan, S Moran; T Mulvey, E Mulligan (0-3, 2f), C Gilheaney (0-1); R Kennedy (0-7, 2f, 1’45), D Wrynn (0-1), A Croal.
B Prior for Rooney (h-t), N O’Donnell for Mulvey (68), C Gaffney for Croal (68), R O’Rourke for Gilheaney (71).
S Enright; M O’Gorman, T O’Gorman, T Ó hUallacháin; S Prendergast, J McGrath, B Looby; R Ó Ceallaigh, T Prendergast (c); G Crotty (0-1), P Hurney (0-1, 1f), M O’Halloran; J Veale, L Lawlor (0-2), L Ó Corraoin.
C Murray for Ó Ceallaigh (h-t), F O Cuirrin for Hurney (h-t), S Corcoran (0-01) for Ó Corraoin (h-t), M Ferncombe (0-3, 3f) for Veale (43 BC), M Curry for O’Halloran (51), J O’Mahony for Looby (68-70 temp).
Noel Mooney (Cavan).