London into Connacht final with replay win over Leitrim

Armagh destroy Wicklow at the Athletic Grounds, Derry too strong for Sligo

Tony Gaughan of London and Robbie Lowe of Leitrim at Dr Hyde Park. Photograph: Mike Shaughnessy/Inpho

Tony Gaughan of London and Robbie Lowe of Leitrim at Dr Hyde Park. Photograph: Mike Shaughnessy/Inpho

 

London 2-11 Leitrim: 1-13: Even after all these years the championship is still making history, the London footballers writing their names into the Connacht final for the first time.

That it came after a replay – and London’s fears they may have let their chance slip the first day – made it extra special, although Leitrim were left to contemplate a classic case of so near and yet so far.

With a quite unbelievable halftime scoreline of London 2-10 Leitrim 0-2, it seemed like game over, at least to all those in the 5,217 crowd.

Goals from Greg Crowley, then Ciaran McCallion inflicted the damage, backed up by a range of points and frees from Lorcan Mulvey.

But despite only scoring one point in the second half, and an barrage of scores from Kevin Conlon, Leitrim fell just a point short in the end, affording London an historic final showdown against Mayo.

At the Athletic Grounds, the Armagh footballers cruised into the second round of the All-Ireland qualifiers with a massive 25-point victory over Wicklow (2-21 - 0-2).

Jamie Clarke had two goals on the board for the Orchard County within the first five minutes, and Armagh were 2-10 to 0-0 up before Wicklow finally registered a score on 26 minutes, through Joey Kelly.

Armagh continued to dominate after the break, and Wicklow had no answers whatsoever, as Paul Grimley’s side increased their tally with ease.

In Owenbeg, Derry beat Sligo by 0-15 - 0-08 to move into Monday’s draw.

Derry dominated the opening changes as Sligo struggled to adapt to the pace of the game.

Enda Lynn, Sean Leo McGoldrick, Ryan Bell (two), Mark Lynch and Lee Kennedy all registered scores before Aidan Marren’s 16th minute free got the visitors off the mark.

Sligo should have followed that up with a goal but Charlie Harrison saw his effort saved when one on one with Eoin McNicholl. Derry took a six-point lead in at the break (0-09 to 0-03).

Sligo continued to gained a foothold in terms of possession and territory after the break but wasteful finishing meant they couldn’t close the gap.

In the final 15 minutes, Lynn, Eoin Bradley and Bell all pointed from play and Emmet McGuckin came within inches of a goal as he hit the crossbar.

Sligo, who failed to register a single point from play in the second half, could only muster two more pointed Mark Breheny frees.