Allianz National Football League Division Four Final 2019
From Odhrán Crumley in Croke Park
It was a case of mission complete for Derry as they put the icing on the Division Four cake claiming the league title with a 100% record.
From the outset it felt that the population had packed into Croke Park and Leitrim’s buoyant start reflected that as they took an early five point lead mainly down to the accurate shooting of Ryan O’Rourke.
Derry regrouped thanks mainly to the influence of Shane McGuigan who rattled over fine scores to level the game before Christopher Bradley ensured the Oakleafers would hold a three point lead at the break.
Damian McErlain’s men took control in the second period without ever fully killing off the Connacht men’s effort.
Captain, Chrissy McKaigue landed two monstrous scores as club mate, Shane McGuigan brought his tally to 0-6 including an incredible mark from a Emmett Bradley ball.
Niall Toner and Benny Heron added an injection of pace to the Derry cause in the final stages with the former landing a score of his own as the Ulster men claimed the Division Four crown.
Derry: Thomas Mallon, Karl McKaigue, Brendan Rogers, Paul McNeill, Michael McEvoy, Christopher McKaigue (0-2), Niall Keenan, Padraig Cassidy (0-1), Conor McAtamney, Emmett Bradley (0-2), Enda Lynn (0-3), Conor Doherty, Shane McGuigan (0-6 1f 1m), Ryan Bell (0-3 1f), Christopher Bradley (0-2 2f).
Subs: Benny Heron for E Lynn (50), Niall Toner (0-1) for R Bell (50), Jason Rocks for C Doherty (59), Eamon McGill for K McKaigue (65), Ryan Dougan for C Bradley (71)
Leitrim: Cathal McCrann, Aidan Flynn, Michael McWeeney (0-1), Paddy Maguire (0-1), Séan McWeeney, Shane Quinn, Raymond Mulvey (0-1), Mark Plunkett (0-1), Shane Moran (0-1), Dean McGovern (0-1), Emlyn Mulligan, Domhnaill Flynn (0-1), Cillian McGloin, Evan Sweeney (0-2), Ryan O’Rourke (0-6 3f).
Subs: Pearce Dolan for C McGloin (32), Darragh Rooney for E Mulligan (45), Damian Moran for S Moran (50), Conor Reynolds for A Flynn (61), Jack Heslin for D Flynn (65)
Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare)