Back to the wall and led by two points, Gortletteragh significantly caught a lifeline in this year’s Connacht Gold SFC when they scored two goals in the final ten minutes to shock Leitrim Gaels in front of their delighted fans on Saturday night.
After suffering losses in their first two games, Gortletteragh simply had to win to avoid qualifying for the relegation final and they managed to achieve a famous victory against all odds, their ability to score goals and hold the game. under pressure proving crucial in this exciting and impactful encounter.
Leitrim Gaels, who led by six points as half-time approached, watched the top team for long stretches but as the game progressed Gortletteragh stubbornly refused to step aside and when the The match turned into a battle in the last quarter, Gortletteragh’s men came through as best they could. challenge.
The indiscipline caused Leitrim Gaels huge problems in their draw against St Mary’s and it came back to haunt them again as they grew increasingly frustrated, challenging decisions with referee Michael McGirl and allowing to their concentration of wandering and Gortletteragh took full advantage of it.
With the game increasingly fractured, Gortletteragh seemed to thrive in chaos as the players, who were hardworking and often outclassed in the first half, roared into the game with fierce intent as Leitrim Gaels watched their focus wane.
A crucial factor in Gortletteragh’s late rise to power was the decision to get Jack Heslin closer to the goal. Absent for the first two games due to injury, the Gortletteragh captain was embroiled in a fascinating battle with County star David Bruen, the Gaels’ man likely overshadowing the battle.
Free from the attentions of the immensely fit and mobile Bruen, Heslin began to terrorize the Gaels’ rearguard and it was his pace and ability to go through defense that created goals for Padraig Gallagher and Keoghan McGovern in the last ten minutes.
It was thanks to the free take of Francie Flynn who converted six francs, including one from play, to punish the Gaels ‘growing indiscipline and goalkeeper Niall Tiernan who made two crucial saves to prevent the Gaels’ goals in the second half. .
With Melvin Gaels suffering a nine-point loss at the hands of St Mary’s, Gortletteragh now has a chance to advance to the quarter-finals as Melvin Gaels finished his matches. A draw or win against St Mary’s would be enough for Gortletteragh to advance, but a win at St Mary’s would see Gortletteragh enter the relegation final.
Leitrim Gaels is in those quarter-finals but depending on the results they could end up facing Group 1 winners Mohill so they will want to win their last game against Glencar Manorhamilton to avoid that scenario.
Both teams opened with a few missed chances before a free quick for Evan Ward saw him unload on a charging Jack Heslin who burst in to score. Francie Flynn hit 40 yards over the bar to put Gortletteragh to two goals, but a Colm Moreton ball allowed Enda Moreton to score with ease.
Moreton nearly scored after just six minutes for Niall Tiernan to make a splendid save to deflect Moreton’s low shot for a fifty that Brendan Flynn missed. Oisin Curley converted a mark to tie the game but Gortletteragh then scored for a goal with Jack Heslin catching a kickoff.
His long ball was quickly transferred to a charging Evan Ward who played a one-two before putting the ball over the line for a spectacular goal in the ninth minute. Stephen Goldrick responded for Leitrim Gaels but their shock as Gortletteragh’s goal didn’t last long as they found the net themselves in three minutes.
Shane Rinn’s strong run saw him hold back a defender before unleashing a powerful shot that cracked across the crossbar but didn’t cross the bar, soaring high enough in the air for Enda Moreton to rush forward. and defeats goalkeeper Niall Tiernan on the ball drop, a deft touch just to place the ball under the crossbar.
Cathal McCrann tied the scores from a mark, but points from Jack and Aidan Flynn, two from the county man put them three clears and the Gaels came off with more points from Goldrick and Daniel O’Sullivan.
Jack Heslin, engaged in a big battle with David Bruen, scored a nice point but a monster point from Colm Moreton and another from Enda Moreton who was initially dismissed by the referees only for the intervention of the linesman Donal Butler to save it saw Leitrim The Gaels lead by six with just two minutes left at halftime.
Above all, Gortletteragh ended the half with a bang as Padraig Gallagher finished a big shot with a point blank goal and Francie Flynn shot to leave the score at halftime at 1-10 to 2-5, a two-point lead for the Gaels.
Gortletteragh was soon tied with Cathal McCrann in both scores, winning a franc for Francie Flynn before scoring himself to tie the game after just two minutes.
Equally important for Gortletteragh, two vital blocks on shots from Conor Guckian and substitute David Regan who prevented some goals despite Regan scoring eight minutes. A free from Francie Flynn evened the scores once again, but Leitrim Gaels seemed to regain control as a free from Aidan Flynn and a huge score from Enda Moreton put them both clear.
Niall Tiernan made another vital save when David Regan got behind the Gortletteragh defense, but Regan put in a free kick to leave his side three points at the halfway point, although Niall Woods scored a brilliant effort for fill the gap.
However, the Gaels came out again with two of David Regan’s one free, but the fight took another crazy turn after 50 minutes when Jack Heslin, passed into the full front line, burned the defense and passed. the ball through the face of the goal where Padraig Gallagher showed great bravery to charge and force the ball over the line while just avoiding a collision with the post.
Leitrim Gaels responded well with a punch point from Aidan Flynn to keep them out again, but the game then took another turn when Colm Moreton received a second yellow card for his second dismissal in the competition.
As the Gaels seemingly lost their temper, Gortletteragh jumped up and unbelievably, they scored a fourth goal when another push from Heslin to the wing saw him float the ball through the goal for Keoghan McGovern either in the field. The opportunity seemed lost, but McGovern pushed his way past the goal before throwing the ball into the net.
This gave Gortletteragh a point and they flew as Leitrim Gaels shot the ball and every Gortletteragh player seemed imbued with new energy. Francie Flynn fired two free kicks, one came in as the dissent really cost Leitrim Gaels.
Oisin Niblock received a black card in added time, but another free Flynn left Gortletteragh four clear. Leitrim Gaels kept chasing a goal and floated a franc into the mouth of Gortletteragh where Conor Guckian lined up, pulled his shot off but referee Mick McGirl spotted an infraction and awarded a penalty.
Unfortunately for the Gaels, Aidan Flynn’s kick flew high over the bar as Gortletteragh secured the victory they desperately needed.
Scorers: Francie Flynn 0-7, 6f; Padraig Gallagher 2-0; Keoghan McGovern and Evan Ward 1-0 each; Jack Heslin and Cathal McCrann (H) 0-2 each; Niall Woods 0-1
Team: Niall Tiernan, Colm Duffy, Gerard Campbell, Kevin McGrath, Oisin Niblock, Niall Woods, David Mulvey, Evan Ward, John Reynolds, Eamon Reynolds, Jack Heslin, Francie Flynn, Keoghan McGovern, Padraig Gallagher, Cathal McCrann. Subtitles: Conor Reynolds for E Reynolds (38)
Scorers: Enda Moreton 1-3; Aidan Flynn 0-5, 2f; David Regan 0-4, 2f; Stephen Goldrick 0-2; Daniel O’Sullivan, Colm Moreton, Jack Flynn and Oisin Curley (H) 0-1 each
Team: Brendan Flynn, Stephen McDermott, Liam Moreton, Aaron McLoughlin, James Flynn, 6. David Bruen, Daniel O’Sullivan, Colm Moreton, Conor Guckian, Jack Flynn, Stephen Goldrick, Shane Rynn, Aidan Flynn, Enda Moreton, Oisin Curley. Subtitles: David Regan for Curley (HT), Shaun Chandler for Rynn (40), Shane Finn for O’Sullivan (59)
Arbitrator: Michael mcGirl