Rory Woods pointed the way for Leitrim with a seven point haul in this victory that paves the way for Leitrim to make a challenge at three in a row glory as the season heads across the halfway line.
The addition of the Armagh three, Donaghy, McKeever and Clarke, had an effect that will only get greater as the year goes on.
In defense of all players who arrive in to a new team, their first day out is always a mixed bag. New faces, teammates, surface and heat -- one can’t be too critical. Safe to say that the three will have a serious impact in the coming games.
Dublin battled hard, but as has been their downfall frees again went a begging in the heat of the game.
The first half was a battle of wills in both directions. The sides split four points to open the game, with Declan Reilly firing over the best of the bunch.
After a third Dublin point from Nick McKeown, Leitrim then had a brace from Woods and Clarke. Clarke also had a blast bounce of the crossbar when he broke free.
Ger Grehan had a Dublin free, but Leitrim again had a brace for a 0-6 to 0-4 lead with 10 minutes left in the half.
They continued to attack, and Ray Hennessy did very well to deny Jamie Clarke with two shots. After another Grehan point from a free, Leitrim again had back to back scores as they went into the break two ahead.
Leitrim added to their lead with points from O’Gara and Woods in the first five minutes of the second half. Dublin then had their best period of the game by responding with three points on the trot.
Jonathon Maloney set up Declan Reilly for the third with a brilliant run down the left sideline.
Leitrim responded by rattling off the last six points of the game, with Clarke, Doona and Woods grabbing a pair each. Clarke’s first was at the end of a long move that originated in his Armagh teammate McKeever’s hands.
They were never bursting out of the engine block but were able to stop any attacks, with Conor O’Loughlin dealing very well with four high balls that dropped in to the square, and Maguire, Donaghy and Ciaran McKeever all having timely interceptions or tackles.
Leitrim manager James Mitchell will be very happy with the result, although he may now have too many players at his disposal, if that is possible.
O’Loughlin did very well under the ball in the nets. Chris O’Toole was quietly efficient, with Lonan Maguire joining the attack repeatedly and also active at the back after he arrived of the bench.
Midfield was second but that mattered little. Paddy Kelly went off injured for a time and was very active on his return.
Rory Woods had his shooting boots on but also covered a lot of ground as a link man. Clarke and O’Gara had positives in their debuts, with David looking to roam with a high degree of success.
The Dubs could not emulate the Brogan powered Irish side. They did, however, have excellent displays from Adam Keaney, Jonathon Maloney, who is a real live wire, and Andy Gray, who broke a lot of ball in the middle.
Declan Reilly started brightly while Ger Grehan finished strong.
Leitrim: 1 Conor O’Loughlin, 2 Chris O’Toole, 3 Brendan Donaghy, 4 Darren Walsh, 5 James Grant, 6 Ciaran McKeever, 7 Peter Fahey, 8 Adrian O’Connor (0-1), 9 Paddy Kelly, 10 Cian Reynolds, 11 Rory Woods (0-7), 12 Shane Maher (0-1), 13 Jamie Clarke (0-4), 14 Dan Doona (0-2), 15 David O’Gara (0-1). Subs: Lonan Maguire, Kieran Tavey, Mike Creegan.
Dublin: 1 Ray Hennessy, 2 Colm Larkin, 3 Adam Keaney, 4 Chris Corrigan, 5 Kieran McHugh, 6 Phil Kennedy, 7 Jonathon Maloney, 8 Andy Gray, 9 Niall Coughlin, 10 Nick McKeown (0-1), 11 Philip Kelly (0-2), 12 Ger Grehan (0-3), 13 Declan Reilly (0-2), 14 Peter Keaney, 15 Aiden Roche (0-1).
Referee: Martin O’Connor.
Man of the match: Rory Woods (Leitrim).