The roar that shook the Bronx as New York defeated Leitrim on penalties
New York 0-15 Leitrim 0-15 (New York win 2-0 on penalties)
After 22 unsuccessful attempts, New York have finally done it. For the first time ever, they've won a match in the Connacht senior football championship. The Exiles have had close shaves, near-misses and extra-time defeats to beat the band in the past but there was to be no hard luck story on Saturday night.
Just a victory that changes the landscape.
Johnny McGeeney's side created history by beating Leitrim in a game that went all the way to a penalty shoot-out.
Fittingly, USA native Mikey Brosnan was the hero as after a string of missed penalties, he held his nerve to smash home the winning one, hitting it perfectly into the top left corner, sparking celebrations of wild jubilation around the Bronx venue.
The shoot-out had become something of a missathon.
Both teams botched their opening two penalties in the shoot-out with Tiuernan Mathers and Killian Butler missing a trick for New York, as Paul Keaney and Keith Beirne failed to convert for Leitrim.
Former Down player Niall Madine finally broke the deadlock for New York and that was a turning point, as with Jack Reilly and Evan Sweeney missing for Leitrim, their struggles continued.
That gave Brosnan the opportunity of a life-time and he seized the moment, sending Gaelic Park wild. Former Galway All-Ireland winner was too tired to go fully wild, however, as you'll see in the video below.
New York have done it! pic.twitter.com/LThu8pxNeN
— John Riordan (@JohnWRiordan) April 9, 2023
Even before then, it had been something of a cagey encounter in the Riverdale venue.
Having been taken all the way to extra-time the last time they were here in 2018, Leitrim would have known not to take anything for granted.
On that note, they made the perfect start, kicking 0-3 without reply early on but it soon became clear that this was going to be nothing other than a proverbial dog-fight.
Dublin's former two-time All-Ireland winner Shane Carthy impressed for New York, as did Tipperary's Munster championship winner Bill Maher as they edged into a 0-7 0-6 half-time lead. Galway's Eoghan Kerin was also tigerish in defence, while that man Mikey Butler kicked a fine score.
Sensational score from @NewYorkGAA’s Shane Carthy sends it to extra-time in New York, what a game #GAA @GAAGO pic.twitter.com/rOhQ5qCEt2
— Seán Hussey (@SeanHussey00) April 8, 2023
Leitrim piled on the pressure in the second half, but former Down goalkeeper Mick Cunningham rose to the challenge then, making two fine saves from Leitrim talisman Keith Beirne.
The tension was rising at this stage and after some good work by Adrian Varley, Shane Carthy sent the game to extra-time with a leveller in the eight minute of added time. Having grown up in New York, this was an especially emotional night for Carthy, who was sensational throughout.
The sides only scored one point between them in extra-time.
And the rest as they say, is history.
Now they will now take on Sligo in a couple of weeks time in the Connacht semi-final, while Andy Moran’s team will now need to regroup for the Tailteann Cup.