What a night for Leitrim as they advance to the third round of the Qualifiers with a massive 0-25 to 1-12 victory over Louth at Carrick-on Shannon!
It was a fitting end to a disastrous year for the visitors, who were moving nicely until reduced to 14 men on 28 minutes. They had just twelve men on the field when the final whistle sounded and Leitrim took full advantage with an outstanding display that saw them prevail by ten points.
The Wee County led by four points two minutes from the break, 1-7 to 0-6, but found themselves four behind within five minutes of the restart as Leitrim landed eight unanswered scores either side of the short whistle through Emlyn Mulligan (4), Donal Wrynn, Ryan O Rourke and Darragh Rooney (2).
Pete McGrath's men made a dream start with a William Woods goal inside the opening minute and they led by 1-2 to 0-1 after five, Ciaran Downey pointing twice to a solitary O'Rourke reply. The visitors remained in control until their full forward James Craven received a straight red card seven minutes from the break and all changed utterly.
The winners pushed on with points from Damien Moran (two; including their ninth without reply), Jack Heslin and Mulligan to lead by 0-19 to 1-10 with an hour played, Woods slotting three second-half Louth points from placed balls.
Mulligan got a well-earned breather when he was black-carded and the hosts hit further scores via Dean McGovern, Moran (his fifth and sixth), Domhnaill Flynn (after O'Rourke struck the bar) and Heslin (his third), with the hapless losers reduced to 13 men on the stroke of full time when Bevan Duffy was black-carded.
It became twelve moments later, Emmet Carolan also shown a black card, O'Rourke (free) and Woods exchanging late scores as Leitrim roared into Monday morning's draw.
Leitrim - D McKiernan; P Maguire, A Armstrong, M McWeeney; J Rooney, S Quinn, N Plunkett; J Heslin (0-3), D Wyrnn (0-1); D Rooney (0-3), E Mulligan (0-6, 3f), A Flynn; B Gallagher (0-1), D Moran (0-6), R O'Rourke (0-3, 1f). Subs: J Mitchell for A Armstrong (BC), D McGovern (0-1) for A Flynn, C McGloin for B Gallagher, E Ward for D Rooney, D Flynn (0-1) for E Mulligan (BC), N McWeeney for D Wyrnn, J Rooney (BC).
Louth - N Gallagher; D Marks, E Carolan, J Craven; D Maguire, B Duffy, A Williams; A McDonnell, T Durnin (0-1); C Downey (0-1), D Byrne (0-3), G McSorley; W Woods (1-7, 0-5f, 0-1'45), C Grimes, R Holcroft. Subs: R Burns for R Holcroft (BC), N Conlon for G McSorley, H Osborne for D Marks, J McEneaney for D Byrne, S Mulroy for T Durnin, E Lafferty for A Williams, B Duffy (BC), E Carolan (BC).
Referee - N Mooney.