Leitrim dug deep at Croke Park this afternoon to record a magnificent extra-time success at the expense of Lancashire in the Lory Meagher Cup decider.
This represents a maiden title at this grade for the Connacht men, who were defeated by Warwickshire in the 2017 showpiece.
Leitrim had hit the ground running through Gavin O’Hagan and Adam Byrne, before corner-forward Ronan Crowley propelled Lancashire into the driving seat. The overseas outfit suffered a hammer blow in the 16th-minute, however, as Colm Moreton rattled the back of Ronan McAteer’s net.
Lancashire later responded with a superb goal of their own from Ronan Crowley, but Leitrim rallied to bring a 1-10 to 1-7 cushion into the break.
The Exiles had a strong wind at their disposal on the resumption, though, and registered seven points on the trot to move three ahead inside the final-quarter. They retained this cushion with the final whistle approaching but Leitrim centre-back James Glancy bagged a stunning goal to leave the sides inseparable at the end of normal time.
Although Lancashire substitute Patrick Duggan drew first blood when the action resumed, Colm Moreton, O’Hagan (two) and Zak Moradi pointed to give Leitrim a 2-20 to 1-20 buffer on the stroke of 80 minutes.
They stretched further in front with Clement Cunniffe’s third point and the dependable O’Hagan struck a brace of scores to provide Leitrim with a commanding five-point advantage. A late Duggan goal had been preceded by a Ronan Crowley free, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Lancashire’s second consecutive final defeat.
Scorers for Leitrim: G O’Hagan 0-9 (0-6f, 0-1 pen), C Moreton 1-4, J Glancy 1-0, C Cunniffe 0-3, A Byrne 0-2, E Moreton, L Moreton, K McDermott, B Murray, Z Moradi 0-1 each.
Scorers for Lancashire: R Crowley 1-9 (0-4f), D Crowley 0-4, P Duggan 1-1, T Lee, T Maher E Kenny 0-2 each, JJ Dunphy, C Duggan 0-1 each.
LEITRIM: D Molloy; P Earley, D McGovern, N McLoughlin; E Moreton, J Glancy, F Earley; L Moreton, K McDermott; A Byrne, C Moreton, B Murray; G O’Hagan, C Cunniffe, C O’Donovan.
Subs: S Goldrick for Byrne (60), D Ryan for Earley (61), Z Moradi for McDermott (62), K McGrath for McLoughlin (70), McDermott for F Earley (86).
LANCASHIRE: R McAteer; S Maloney, C Larkin, L Knocker; D Power, G Jacob, T Lee; C Doherty, T Maher; JJ Dunphy, D Maskey, D Crowley; E Kenny, J Cleere, R Crowley.
Subs: C Duggan for Maskey (41), O McMahon for Knocker (59), P Duggan for Maher (64), S Dunne for D Crowley (70+5), S Wallace for Cleere (76), Maher for Dunphy (81), Cleere for Doherty (86).
Referee: K Brady (Louth).