Devaney the hero as Sligo progress to Tailteann Cup semi-finals

Two penalty saves from Aidan Devaney ensured Sligo booked their spot in the Tailteann Cup semi-final following a penalty shootout victory over Leitrim on Sunday afternoon.

Leitrim made the ideal start to the opening half. A point from Keith Beirne followed by a Jack Heslin goal gave the home side a four point lead.

Glencar-Manorhamilton’s Evan Sweeney increased the margin further before the Yeats County steadied the ship with with six points in succession.

Seán Carrabine (2) Alan Reilly (2) and Patrick O’Connor (one from play and one from a free) all added their names to the scoresheet.

St. Farnan’s clubman O’Connor (one from play and one from a mark) increased the margin further with points on 29 and 32 minutes.

Keith Beirne and Riordan O’Rourke reduced the deficit before Alan Reilly gave Sligo a two-point lead in the interval.

Sligo made an ideal start to second half. Carrabine and Reilly stretched the margin the margin at four.

Keith Beirne (a point) followed by a brilliant goal from Jordan Reynolds levelled proceedings before Evan Sweeney gave Leitrim the lead with a point from play.

Mohill’s Beirne increased the margin to two points with a mark 10 minutes into the second half.

Reilly increased his personal account to five points before Beirne got his fifth of the day a minute later.

Sligo made the perfect response. O’Connor slotted over a free before substitute Mark Walsh found the back of the Leitrim net.

A point apiece from Carrabine and Darragh Cummins gave Sligo a four-point lead.

Keith Beirne and Peter Laffey traded points before Andy Moran’s side landed three points in succession from Dean McGovern, Ryan O’Rourke and Jordan Reynolds to leave the game at the slimmest of margins in injury time.

Keith Beirne’s majestic score levelled proceedings and sent the game to extra-time.

Shane Moran’s goal looked to give Leitrim a three-point lead at the start of extra-time, however following consultation with his umpires, referee Maurice Deegan disallowed the goal for a square ball.

Conor Marren’s point gave Sligo the lead soon after.

Mark Plunkett equalised for Leitrim before both sides traded scores in both halves of the extra periods to send the game to penalties.

Sligo netminder Devaney saved Leitrim’s first penalty from Ryan O’Rourke before Nathan Rooney gave Sligo the advantage.

Keith Beirne responded before Alan Reilly made it two successful penalties from two for Sligo. Darragh Rooney made it two apiece.

Geevagh’s Donal Conlon gave Sligo the lead with Leitrim responding instantly. Brian Egan got the better of Leitrim goalkeeper Brendan Flynn with Sligo’s fourth penalty to pile the pressure on Leitrim.

Emlyn Mulligan, who plays his club football in Sligo with St. Mary’s stepped up to keep  Leitrim in it but Devaney was equal to his spot-kick to send Sligo through to the Tailteann Cup semi-finals.

Sligo will find out their semi-final opponents on Monday morning on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland at 8.35am.

Tailteann Cup Quarter Finals

Leitrim 2-16 Sligo 1-19 (Sligo win 4-3 on penalties)

Offaly 3-17 New York 0-11

Carlow 2-13 Westmeath 1-21

Fermanagh 0-13 Cavan 2-16