Easter Sunday it may have been but today saw the first shots fired in this year’s Connacht SFC. The matches in question took place not only outside the province but also outside the country and both turned out to be extremely competitive tussles.
Andy Moran took his Leitrim charges over to McGovern Park in Ruislip where they faced London this afternoon. This fixture has proved a tricky one for visitors at different times over the last decade – Andy himself was instrumental in navigating Mayo away from disaster back in 2011 – and this was never going to be a routine win for Leitrim. In fact, London beat Leitrim by two points in Division Four of the National League earlier this year so they would have had every right to believe they’d be able to back up that result today.
And they very nearly did. Leitrim won at the finish by 3-12 to 2-11 but the visitors’ final goal came in injury time and it arrived after the Exiles had stormed back into the game, scoring 2-1 in a late burst that took them to within a point of their opponents.
Leitrim now progress to the Connacht SFC semi-final where they’ll face the winners of the Mayo/Galway match next Sunday.
This evening over in Gaelic Park, meanwhile, there was more drama as Sligo struggled for long stretches to shake off New York, eventually – just like Leitrim – prevailing by four points. Like the match in Ruislip, the visitors were narrowly ahead for most of the game but their opponents stuck with them stubbornly and were only a point in arrears coming down the closing stretch.
A point from a free from Niall Madine hauled New York level at the end of normal time. With extra-time beckoning, however, the Yeats County eventually surged clear, notching the final four scores of the game to win by 1-16 to 0-15. They now face Roscommon in the Connacht semi-final.