Mickey Harte enjoyed his first win as Louth manager as his side carried out a second-half demolition job on Leitrim.

Keith Beirne put Leitrim ahead with the game’s opening score, a point from a sixth-minute mark, but Louth dominated the exchanges for the remainder of the opening quarter.

Sam Mulroy had the Wee County on level terms three minutes later when he put over a 45 and they edged ahead with a 10th minute Anthony Williams point.

After that, Louth took command as Mulroy added two frees and Ciaran Downey and Conor Grimes (free) chipped in with a point each, to give them a 0-06 to 0-01 lead by the start of the second quarter.

Leitrim did manage to stage a spirited comeback and held Louth scoreless for the remainder of the first half. Two points by Keith Beirne from frees and two from play by Mark Plunkett helped to draw them level by the 32nd minute.

A Conor Dolan point prior to the break sent Leitrim in leading by 0-07 to 0-06 at half-time and after the restart Keith Beirne edged the hosts further ahead.

Following Beirne’s score, however, Leitrim’s challenge completely collapsed.

Louth lifted their game again after Eoghan Callaghan fired over a 41st minute point and Mickey Harte’s side were on level terms when Dan Corcoran pointed three minutes later.

A 48th-minute Sam Mulroy free put Louth into a lead they never subsequently surrendered and went on to increase by nine more unanswered points over the next 19 minutes.

In this spell Liam Jackson and Declan Byrne added two apiece while Ciaran Byrne, Ciaran Downey, Ciaran Keenan, and Conor grimes (free) chipped in with a point each.

Leitrim’s Mark Plunkett ('45) and Evan Sweeney replied with a point each before the end while Louth’s Emmett Carolan had the last say in the scoring action of the day when he fired over late on.

Louth: M McEneaney; D Corcoran (0-01), D Campbell, D McKenny; L Jackson (0-02), A Williams (0-01), E Callaghan; B Duffy, C Byrne (0-01); C Keenan (0-02), S Mulroy (0-06, 4f), C Downey (0-2); M Corcoran, C Grimes (0-1f), R Burns.

Subs: C Lynch for McEneaney (HT); E Carolan (0-01) for Corcoran (39); Declan Byrne (0-02) for D Byrne (St. Mochtas) 42: Neil Sharkey for McKinney (42).

Leitrim: B Flynn; C Reynolds, P Maguire, D Bruen; O Madden, J Gilheaney, C McGloin; D McGovern; D Wrynn; S Quinn, M Plunkett (0-4, 2f), K Keegan (0-05, 2f); D Rooney, K Beirne, C Dolan.

Subs: E Sweeney (0-01) (22); R O’Rourke for McGovern (55); T Prior for Rooney (59); O McCaffrey for Wrynn (64).

Referee: P Maguire (Longford)