Leitrim handed out a warning to all viewers that they will have a major say in the senior football championship this season with a full squad on hand and a deep bench to play from that completely annihilated Monaghan.
Leading 1-16 to a 0-1 at halftime, the script was already written with Darren Freeman having an outstanding afternoon. The Monaghan native, ironically, scored nine points over the hour in a tremendous performance. He was ably assisted by Keith Quinn, Damian Moran and Brian Connor who all contributed to the excellent win.
Monaghan had no answer as they were ran off the field and will need to regroup before their next contest.
Leitrim have deepened their panel with the latest additions, and when players of the caliber of Nicky Joyce and Peter Fahy are substitutes it shows the weapons that are at James Mitchell’s disposal. With Paddy Kelly playing in a new role of full forward again Mitchell has options a plenty when tougher tasks arrive.
Monaghan: 1 Alan Hearty, 2 Paul Lambe, 3 Sean Kelly, 4 Fergal Malone, 5 Paul Farnham, 6 Fergal McPhillips, 7 Rory Molloy, 8 Gary White, 9 Kevin Smith, 10 Ross McKenna, 11 Paul O’Hara, 12 Liam Deane, 13 Kevin Connolly (0-2), 14 Paul McArdle (0-1), 15. JC Connolly. Subs Ross Connolly (0-1), Shane McKenna, Eugene McPhillips, Mikey O’Regan, Rory Connolly, David Harvey.
Leitrim: 1 Aidan Tansey, 2 Lonan McGuire, 3 Paddy McGuire, 4 Mike Creegan, 5 Ronan O’Flaherty, 6 Nathan Breen, 7 Cian Maher, 8 Brian Connor (0-1), 9 Damian Moran (0-5), 10 Keith Quinn (0-2), 11 Shane Moran (0-3), 12 Darren Freeman (0-9), 13 Ciaran Brennan,
14 Paddy Kelly (1-0), 15 Eoghan Carew (0-1). Subs: Conor Skeffington, Ronan Gallagher, Brian Fahey, Nickey Joyce (0-1), Andy Gray, Ciaran Moley, Malachy Gallagher, Peter Fahey.
Referee: Lawrence McGrath.
Man of the match: Darren Freeman.