Leitrim dug deep at Croke Park to record a magnificent extra-time success at the expense of Lancashire in the Lory Meagher Cup decider.
This represents a maiden title at this grade for the Connacht men, who were defeated by Warwickshire in the 2017 showpiece. They looked set to fall short when the Exiles led 1-19 to 1-16 deep into stoppage-time, but a stunning James Glancy goal offered them a reprieve.
They subsequently took control in the additional periods and despite a late goal from Lancashire substitute Patrick Duggan, they had enough in reserve to squeeze over the line.
Leitrim had hit the ground running through Gavin O'Hagan and Adam Byrne, before corner-forward Ronan Crowley propelled Lancashire into the driving seat. The overseas outfit suffered a hammer blow in the 16th-minute, however, as Colm Moreton rattled the back of Ronan McAteer’s net.
Lancashire later responded with a superb goal of their own from Ronan Crowley, until Leitrim rallied to bring a 1-10 to 1-7 cushion into the break.
They found themselves under increased pressure on the resumption and thanks to unanswered scores through Ronan Crowley (two), Trevor Lee and Edmond Kenny, the sides were level at 1-12 apiece on the third-quarter mark.
Moving into the final-quarter, Stan Murray-Hession's charges turned the tie on its head with further points from Ronan Crowley, Conor Duggan and Darren Crowley.
This scoring blitz gave them significant daylight over Martin Cunniffe’s men, but the marauding Glancy’s unstoppable strike ensured the sides were inseparable at the end of normal time.
Although Lancashire substitute Patrick Duggan drew first blood when the action resumed, Colm Moreton, O’Hagan (two) and Zak Moradi pointed to give Leitrim a 2-20 to 1-20 buffer on the stroke of 80 minutes.
They stretched further in front with Clement Cunniffe’s third point of the game, before Lancashire responded with a Tommy Maher single. Yet, Leitrim were not to be denied.
The dependable O’Hagan struck a brace of scores - including one from a penalty - to provide the O'Rourke county with a commanding five-point advantage. Duggan’s late goal had been preceded by a Ronan Crowley free, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Lancashire’s second consecutive final defeat.
Leitrim: Declan Molloy; Paul Earley, David McGovern, Niall McLoughlin; Enda Moreton (0-01), James Glancy (1-0), Fergal Earley; Liam Moreton (0-01), Karl McDermott (0-01); Adam Byrne (0-02), Colm Moreton (1-04), Ben Murray (0-01); Gavin O’Hagan (0-09, 0-06 frees, 0-01 pen), Clement Cunniffe (0-03), Cathal O’Donovan.
Subs: Stephen Goldrick for Byrne; Declan Ryan for P Earley (61); Zak Moradi (0-01) for McDermott (62); Kevin McGrath for McLoughlin (70); McDermott for F Earley (86).
Lancashire: Ronan McAteer; Shane Maloney, Colm Larkin, Liam Knocker; David Power, Greg Jacob, Trevor Lee (0-02); Colm Doherty, Tommy Maher (0-02); JJ Dunphy (0-01), Daire Maskey, Darren Crowley (0-04); Edmond Kenny (0-02), Justin Cleere, Ronan Crowley (1-09, 0-04 frees).
Subs: Conor Duggan (0-01) for Maskey (41); Oisin McMahon for Knocker (59); Patrick Duggan (1-01) for Maher (64); Eoghan Kelly for Power (70); Shane Dunne for D Crowley (70+5); Simon Wallace for Cleere (76); Maher for Dunphy (81), Cleere for Doherty (86).
Referee: Kevin Brady (Louth).
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