Leitrim surprise Antrim to march on in Tailteann Cup

Goals in either half by Shane Moran and Jack Heslin for Leitrim ensured a victory for the home side
Leitrim surprise Antrim to march on in Tailteann Cup

Jack Heslin scored Leitrim's second goal

Tailteann Cup: Leitrim 2–14 Antrim 1–12 

Goals in either half by Shane Moran and Jack Heslin for Leitrim ensured a Tailteann Cup victory for the home side at Carrick-on-Shannon and killed off the challenge of favourites Antrim.

After Ordán Eastwood Eastwood put Antrim ahead with an opening minute point. Leitrim hit back with three on the trot during the next seven minutes with Keith Beirne getting two and David Bruen chipping in with one.

A Jamie Gribbon 11th-minute Antrim point reduced Leitrim's advantage to the minimum. But Leitrim surged ahead again over the next four minutes with points from Jack Heslin and Keith Beirne.

Leitrim had a 14th-minute led off when Antrim's Ordán Eastwood drove a clearcut goal chance wide. However four minutes later Antrim's Patrick McBride kept the Glens Men's hopes alive when he fired over.

But a minute late the tide turned in Leitrim's favour when Shane Moran flicked a long ball in from midfield to the Antrim net. 

Leitrim continued to drive home their advantage with Cillian McGloin, Jack Heslin, Keith Beirne (free) and Donal Wrynn (mark) putting over points by the 32nd minute.

Antrim's Dermot McAleese blazed a goal chance over prior to the break, which left Leitrim with a comfortable 1–10 to 0–4 interval lead. Antrim reduced the deficit after the restart when full-back Peter Healy, who had been switched up front at half-time by the Saffron's Manager Enda McGinley, hit a 38th-minute point.

But two minutes later Jack Heslin palmed home a Leitrim goal, which certainly put Andy Moran's men in the driving seat. Pearce Dolan stretched the Leitrim advantage with a 42nd-minute point.

Antrim replied with a Pat Shivers score almost immediately but Evan Sweeney replied. Antrim's Ruarí McCann and Leitrim's Jordon Reynolds also swapped points before the 51st minute.

Antrim raised their game over the next quarter hour and reduced the deficit, with Peter Healy racing through for a well-taken goal, while Pat Shivers added two points with Dermot McAleese and Ruarí McCann (free) getting one each.

A late late Leitrim flurry in response saw Mark Plunkett and Keith Beirne (free) whip over a point apiece, while Antrim's Pat Shivers pointed before departing on a second yellow card.

Scorers for Leitrim: K. Beirne (0–6, 3 frees); J Heslin (1–2); S Moran (1–0); D Bruen, C McGloin, P Dolan, E Sweeney, J Reynolds & M Plunkett (0–1 each)
Scorers for Antrim: P Shivers (0–4); P Healy (1–1); D. McAleese & R McCann (0–2 each); P McBride, J Gribbon, O Eastwood (0–1 each).

LEITRIM: B Flynn; P Maguire, M Diffley, C Reynolds; S Heslin, D Bruen, J Rooney; P Dolan, D Wrynn; C McGloin, K Beirne; S Moran; D Flynn, E Sweeney; R O'Rourke.

Subs: J Reynolds for McGloin (37); E. Mulligan for O'Rourke (47); M Plunkett for Heslin (53); C Farrell for Flynn (58); D Rooney for Sweeney (67).

ANTRIM: M Byrne; E McCabe, P Healy, P McCormick; M Jordan, D Lynch, D McAleese; K Small, C Stewart; P McBride, R Murray, P McAleer; J Gribbon, P Shivers, O Eastwood.

Subs: B. McCormick for P. McCormick (46); C Murray for Gribbon (48); E Hynds for McAleer (49).

Referee: B Cassidy (Derry).

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