Ephie Fitzgerald is still waiting for a first win as the Waterford Senior Football manager after his side suffered a third loss in a row on Sunday afternoon last at Fraher Field, losing to a Leitrim side which bounced back from a loss to London the previous week.
Keith Beirne was the star of the show as he kicked 12 points, seven of which came from play for the side under the control of former Mayo star Andy Moran.
Antrim began in whirlwind fashioned with Beirne very much to the fore. He landed the first three scores in a seven-minute spell between the fifth and 12th minutes to send his side into the lead.
Brian Lynch pulled a point back for Waterford on 13 minutes but it was followed with another from Beirne moments later.
Dylan Guiry halved the visitors lead with his first of the afternoon on 16 minutes but two more from Beirne had the visitors 0-6 to 0-2 ahead after 21 minutes.
Paul Keaney became the first player for the visitors other than Beirne to score and it was quickly followed with one from Tom Prior to put The Ridge County six up.
But credit Effie Fitzgerald’s side. They dominated from this point to the break. Dermot Ryan hit a brace of long range scores with Conor Murray hitting one in between to draw Waterford to within three of Andy Moran’s side.
And when Darragh Corcoran dissected the posts on 31 minutes Waterford were very much back in contention.
Keith Beirne and Dylan Guiry swapped scores before the allotted 35 minutes were up and in stoppage time Darragh Corcoran, from a free, and Keith Beirne swapped scores to give Leitrim a 0-10 to 0-8 lead at the change of ends.
Leitrim played into the Town Goal end in the second half which is often perceived to be the scoring goal at Fraher Field, but it was Waterford that scored first and what a score it proved to be.
Paddy Maguire misconstrued the ball inside his own half of field. Dylan Guiry took control of the ball, ran at the Leitrim defence and laid the ball off to Darragh Corcoran who slotted past Darren Maxwell in the Leitrim goal to give Waterford the lead (1-8 to 0-10) for the first time.
Tom Prior responded with a point for the visitors to draw them level when he split the posts after he called a mark. Darragh Corcoran edged Waterford back in front when he put over a free eight minutes after the restart, but this was as good as it got the for home side.
Waterford’s Dermot Ryan has his jersey tested by Leitrim’s Cillian McGloin
Two Keith Beirne efforts had Leitrim back in front by the 47 minutes and the next score proved decisive. This time Beirne turned from score getter to score provider as he was involved in the build up to the visitors opening goal when Ryan O’Rourke got the better of Ben Kirwan in the Waterford goal to put Leitrim 1-13 to 1-9 in front.
Beirne pointed again for the visitors but it was cancelled out with an effort from Tom O’Connell with the game entering its final ten minutes. Jack Heslin and Ryan O’Rourke followed up with scores for Antrim putting them six up but this was brought down by one when Dylan Guiry registered his second of the game.
Darragh Corcoran made it a four point game going into stoppage time at the but sadly for Waterford the game was soon killed off when the visitors snatched a late second goal as subs Dean McGovern and Darragh Rooney combined with the latter finishing to the net at a time when Waterford were pressing for something at the other end.
The game closed out with Beirne and Corcoran hitting late points for their respective sides.
The Waterford team that lined out against Leitrim on Sunday
Waterford: Ben Kirwan, Conor Ó Cuirrín, Darach Ó Cathasaigh, Liam Fennell, Dermot Ryan, John Elsted, Brian Looby, Brian Lynch, Michael Curry, Conor Murray, David Hallihan, Stephen Curry, Tom O’Connell, Dylan Guiry, Darragh Corcoran.
Suba: Jordan O’Sullivan for Stephen Curry (50), Aaron Jones for Conor Ó Cuirrín (57), James Walsh for David Hallihan (57), James O’Leary for Brian Lynch (63), Rian Reddy for John Elsted (72).
Scorers: Darragh Corcoran (1-6, 0-4 frees), Dylan Guiry, Dermot Ryan (0-2) each, Brian Lynch, Conor Murray, Tom O’Connell (0-1 each).
Leitrim:Darren Maxwell, Mark Diffley, Donal Casey, Paddy Maguire, James Rooney, David Bruen, Cillian McGloin, Pearce Dolan, Donal Wrynn, Domhnaill Flynn, Keith Beirne, Paul Keaney, Ryan O’Rourke, Mark Plunkett, Tom Prior.
Subs: Ciaran Cullen for Pearce Dolan (34), Dean McGovern for Paul Keaney (43), Jack Heslin for Cillian McGloin (60), Darragh Rooney for Tom Prior (63), Conor Cullen for Donal Wrynn (75).
Scorers: Keith Beirne (0-12, 5 fs), Ryan O’Rourke (1-1), Darragh Rooney (1-0), Tom Prior 0-2, (1 mark), Paul Keaney, Jack Heslin (0-1) each
Referee: David Hickey (Carlow)