Despite carving out the opening that enabled Shane Hogan to score New York’s goal and then firing over a sublime point in extra-time, Armagh ace Jamie Clarke was forced to swallow the bitter pill of defeat when Leitrim triumphed by 0-19 to 1-I5 in last night’s Connacht SFC quarter-final in the Big Apple.
Clarke’s subtle touches had helped to keep New York in touch at half-time in normal time (0-9 to 1-5) and at the end of seventy minutes the sides were deadlocked at 1-12 to 0-15.
A brace of points from Kevin O’Grady which complemented Clarke’s superb late point looked sufficient to take New York over the line but Daragh Rooney, Noel Plunkett and Shane Quinn plundered late scores to give Leitrim victory.
New York have never won a game in the Connacht championship but seldom in their history have they come as close to ending their pursuit for victory as they did last night.
Clarke, who stepped aside from the Armagh panel prior to the start of this year, certainly made his presence felt but Leitrim summoned on their experience and opportunism to win by a short head in a game that drew one of the biggest crowds in recent history to Gaelic Park.
Meanwhile, Tyrone native Cathal Corey tasted success at the first hurdle in his introduction to the Connacht championship as manager of Sligo.
Corey, who helped his side retain their place in Division Three of the league, had been wary of their mission against London yesterday but in the event the Yeats County emerged comfortable winners by 1-21 to 1-11.
Sligo’s experience and their ability to snap up half-chances stood them in good stead after they had made an encouraging start to lead by 1-10 to 1-3 at half-time.
An Adrian Marren penalty appeared to have put Sligo in the driving seat but Fergal McMahon’s goal shortly before the interval threw London a lifeline.
However, with Niall Murphy, Sean Carrabine and the wily Marren to the fore, Sligo closed out the game efficiently.
Derry GAA has suffered a blow with the passing of Seamus Lagan, one of the best players to have represented the county.
Current star Chrissy McKaigue laid glowing tributes to the Glen clubman who won Ulster championship medals with Derry in 1975 and 1976 having emerged strongly at minor and U21 level.
Cavan were pipped at the post in yesterday’s Lidl All-Ireland Ladies Division Two football final when they lost to Tipperary by 3-11 to 0-21.
An Aishling Sheridan goal for the Breffni side helped the sides to remain deadlocked at the interval (1-7 to 0-10) and when she and Roisin O’Keefe contributed further goals after the break, Cavan looked as if they might come out on top.
But the relentless finishing of Aisling McCarthy and Aishling Mahoney who scored 0-15 between them was to prove too much for the Ulster side.