A view of the game. James Crombie/INPHO

Sligo overcome Leitrim in first-ever senior county GAA game played indoors

It was a momentous occasion in the splendid €3.1 million NUIG Connacht GAA Air Dome.

Connacht FBD League Quarter-Final:

SLIGO 1-21

Cian O’Connell reports from the NUIG Connacht GAA Dome

IT WAS a satisfactory evening in the splendid €3.1 million NUIG Connacht GAA Air Dome for Sligo, who chalked up an impressive win over Leitrim.

Andy Moran’s first match in charge of Leitrim featured plenty of encouraging moments, but Sligo just had an extra sprinkling of class in attack — with Niall Murphy’s 1-10 haul instrumental.

A lively opening period unfolded with Sligo thundering into the contest accumulating a 1-5 to 0-3 lead by the 14th minute.

Niall Murphy was carrying a potent threat inside plundering 1-2 for Sligo with Alan Reilly and Brian Egan also prominent.

Tony McEntee’s charges edged further ahead 1-8 to 0-4 by the 20th minute, but Leitrim remained admirably determined.

A fine Leitrim burst yielded 1-3 without reply including an opportunistic goal from Darragh Rooney in the 25th minute as Moran’s outfit gained in confidence.

That had the gap down to the minimum and it stayed interesting until the interval when the teams departed deadlocked, 1-10 each.

In first-half stoppage time, Cillian McGloin was black carded, and when the action recommenced Sligo took command.

Murphy and Pat Hughes continued to cause Leitrim huge bother as Sligo hit eight of the first nine points after the restart.

Unsurprisingly, Leitrim battled until the bitter end with Keith Beirne contributing handsomely, but Sligo advanced to a semi-final meeting with Roscommon on Saturday evening.

Scorers for Sligo: Niall Murphy 1-10 (5fs), Pat Hughes 0-3 (2ms), Alan Reilly and Brian Egan (1m) 0-2 each, Paddy O’Connor, Keelan Cawley, Mikey Gordon, and David Quinn 0-1 each.

Scorers for Leitrim: Keith Beirne 0-9 (6fs), Darragh Rooney 1-1, Ryan O’Rourke 0-3, Paul Keaney, Donal Casey, Jack Heslin, and Riordan O’Rourke (m) 0-1 each.

SLIGO: Eamonn Kilgannon; Karl McKenna, Evan Lyons, Mark Walsh; Keelan Cawley, Paul Kilcoyne, David Phillips; Paddy O’Connor, Gavin Gorman; Brian Egan, Alan Reilly, Donal Conlon; David Quinn, Pat Hughes, Niall Murphy.

Subs: Mikey Gordon for Conlon (27), Adrian Cymmins for O’Connor (48), Stephen Regan for Egan (54), Oisin Kennedy for Cawley (54), Jack Haran for McKenna (59), Ian Barrett for Walsh (65).

LEITRIM: Brendan Flynn; Paddy Maguire, Mark Diffley, David Bruen; James Rooney, Donal Casey, Jack heslin; Cillian McGloin, Donal Wrynn; Emlyn Mulligan, Keith Beirne, Evan Sweeney; Ryan O’Rourke, Darragh Rooney, Shane Quinn.

Subs: Riordan O’Rourke for Sweeney (HT), Pearce Dolan for McGloin (45), Paul Keaney for Mulligan (48), Aaron Hoare for Rooney (52).

REFEREE: Thomas Murphy (Galway).

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