Hurling & Camogie

Cavan edge Leitrim in Division 3B decider to win first League title in 39 years

Belfast native Ollie Bellew saw his side win the Division 3B title against Leitrim
Belfast native Ollie Bellew saw his side win the Division 3B title against Leitrim Belfast native Ollie Bellew saw his side win the Division 3B title against Leitrim

Allianz Hurling League Division 3B final

Cavan 0-17 Leitrim 0-16

CAVAN will be showcasing their hurling skills in Division 3A next year after they withheld a late flourish from Leitrim at Abbottstown on Saturday.

The Ulstermen – managed by Belfast native Ollie Bellew (left) – led from gun to tape but fought a rearguard action over the last 15 minutes before landing the 3B title.

In capturing their first hurling League title since the 1983-84 season, Cavan enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but never quite managed to put their opponents away.

Cavan were on the front foot from the get-go and some fine foraging from go-to full-forward Diarmaid Carney and classy points from Kilkenny native Canice Maher helped the Blues engineer a 0-5 to 0-2 lead by the 11th minute.

Leitrim never lost sight of their opponents, though, and helped by gems from Sean Markem and stand-out midfielder Gavan O’Hagan, were very much still in the game trailing by 0-8 to 0-11 at half-time.

Wind-backed Leitrim stuck to their task as the second half gathered pace and an inspirational point from dual star Conor Beirne. left the chasing team just a single point adrift.

However, Cavan came back off the ropes with a Maher free and a fine solo effort by former Cuala All-Ireland medallist Nicky Kenny bringing a temporary halt to Leitrim’s gallop.

In the pouring rain, Leitrim rallied again and points from the impressive Joe Murray plus sub  Michael Dervan were added to by a David McGovern free (74) which signalled a draw for the first time in the match.

It was Cavan who were to land the last, and fatal, punch, with Cootehill Celtic young gun Rian Delaney arrowing the sliotar over the bar for what proved to be the winning point five minutes shy of the final whistle.

Cavan D Sheridan; S Briody, D Crudden, L Óg Cooke; J Barry, C Sheanon, M Hynes; D Mulligan, N Kenny (0-7); T Leonard, C Maher (0-9, 3f, 65), C Sheanon; S Keating, D Carney, C Gargan

Subs R Delaney (0-1) for S Keating (51); A Sheridan for C Gargan (57); M Moffett for D Carney (66); P McCabe for Cooke (66); E Shalvey for T Leonard (70)

Leitrim C Cunniffe; P Lenehan, A McLoughlin, K Clerkin; M Feeney, S Markem, D McGovern (0-2, 1f); E Moreton, G O’Hagan (0-6, 4f); S Goldrick, J Murray (0-3), S Markem (0-1); T Brannigan, C Beirne (0-1), L Moreton

Subs S O’Riordain for A McLoughlin (h-t); J McNabola (0-1) for K Clerkin (h-t), E Clancy for T Brannigan (47); M Dervan (0-1f) for S Markem (63)

Referee P Owens (Down)