Leitrim came from behind in Carrick on Shannon to storm to a facile 10 point beating of Louth in round 2 of All-Ireland football qualifiers at a sunny Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada.
Despite the final score, Pete McGrath’s side looked in control of proceedings right until indiscipline struck just before half time.
Cornerback James Craven saw red and Ronan Holcroft was black carded moments earlier and both incidents led to their collapse.
Leitrim used the numerical advantage in the heat and went on a run of nine unanswered points either side of the half time whistle.
This momentum shift inspired the hosts to victory, they would finish with a whopping 21 points from play.
Louth who haven’t won two qualifier games on the bounce since 2007, in fact the last time they won two championship games in a row was on their Leinster final run in 2010, started the game brightly with a goal from William Woods followed up with a fisted point from Ciaran Downey after four minutes.
Tricky Ryan O’Rourke and Emlyn Mulligan opened theirs and Leitrim’s account but Woods notched free after free and Declan Byrne notched a brace to push the Wee County six points ahead.
Louth very much on top at this stage, missed two goal chances, full forward Conor Grimes palmed wide and Woods walloped the post. The misses sparked a Leitrim revival and Louth to lose their focus completely.
Ronan Holcroft picked up a black card and minutes later James Craven saw red for an attempted headbutt on Damien Moran.
To compound matters for Louth, Leitrim struck three points in a row, Moran notching the first of his six points in this period.
Briefly Louth did regain composure through scores from Tommy Durnin and another Woods free.
However, Leitrim ended the half stronger with points from the impressive Darragh Mooney and a brace from the mercurial Emlyn Mulligan.
The three points before the break left it 1-07 to 0-10 to Louth but it was the beginning of Leitrim’s scoring streak that would end Louth’s season.
Leitrim manager Brendan Guckian's words to his troops motivated them to come out of the blocks in scorching fashion after the interval. None more so than midfielder Donal Wyrnn, who scored right from the throw in as they went on to score six on the spin.
Louth on the other hand went into their shell, visibly lacking morale would only score five in the second half in total. Woods with four frees and Declan Byrne with his third from play.
Moran, Mulligan and O’Rourke caused the Louth defence all sorts of havoc finding their range at will.
Indisciplinary woes would continue for Louth as they ended the game with 12 players with Bevan Duffy and Emmet Carolan receiving black and the full compliment of subs used.
Dean McGovern and Domhaill Flynn made impressive impacts off the bench for Leitrim as they picked off Louth to romp home to their third qualifier victory in history.
Leitrim: Diarmuid McKiernan; Paddy Maguire, Alan Armstrong, Michael McWeeney; James Rooney, Shane Quinn, James Rooney;Jack Heslin (0-02), Donal Wyrnn (0-01); Darragh Rooney(0-03), Emlyn Mulligan (0-06, 3f), Aidan Flynn; Brendan Gallagher (0-01), Damien Moran (0-06), Ryan O’Rourke (0-03,1f).
Subs used: James Mitchell for A Armstrong BC (9mins), Dean McGovern (0-01 )for A Flynn (46 mins), Cillian McGloin for B Gallagher (46 mins), Eoin Ward for D Rooney (57 mins), Domhaill Flynn (0-02) for E Mulligan BC (61 mins), Nicholas McWeeney for D Wyrnn (68mins) J Rooney BC (76 mins)
Louth: Neil Gallagher; Darren Marks, Emmet Carolan, James Craven; Derek Maguire, Bevan Duffy, Anthony Williams; Andy McDonnell, Tommy Durnin (0-01); Ciaran Downey (0-01), Declan Byrne (0-03), Gerard McSorley; William Woods (1-07, 6f, 145), Conor Grimes, Ronan Holcroft.
Subs used: Ryan Burns for R Holcroft BC (26 mins), Niall Conlon for G McSorley (44mins), H Osborne for D Marks (53mins), J McEneaney for D Byrne (62mins),Sam Mulroy for T Durnin (65mins), Eoghan Lafferty for A Williams (70mins), B Duffy BC (71 mins) E Carolan BC (73mins)
Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)