Longford clinch Division Three title

Longford withstood a strong second half comeback from Wexford to clinch back-to-back league titles in Croke Park with a 1-12 to 0-13 win in the Division Three League Final.

Longford withstood a strong second half comeback from Wexford to clinch back-to-back league titles in Croke Park with a 1-12 to 0-13 win in the Division Three League Final.

Having largely dominated the first half, Longford went into the break leading by 1-10 to 0-3. The only goal of the game arrived just before the interval, when Brian Kavanagh chipped a pass over the top of the Wexford full back line, which Paul Kelly managed to side-foot into the Wexford net.

The lead, however, would not have been so big had Wexford shown better accuracy in front of goal, with the Slaneysiders kicking numerous wides.

They improved that aspect of their game in the second half and set about cutting the deficit with five unanswered points in a ten-minute spell.

At the other end, Longford began to endure the sort of wayward shooting that affected Wexford in the first period. The result was a narrowing gap between the teams that eventually got to two points before the referee blew the full-time whistle.

Outscored by 0-10 to 0-2 in that second period will`obvisoly be of concern to Glenn Ryan and his selectors, but for now they can enjoy their second successive league title, having lifted the Division Four crown just twelve months ago at the same venue.

Next up for Longford is the Leinster Championship re-match with Laois at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday May 20. The winners, incidentally, will play Wexford in the Leinster Quarter-final at Croke Park in a double-header with Dublin vs Westmeath/Louth in the other tie.

Longford: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; C Smyth, M Quinn, S Mulligan; B McElvaney, J Keegan; P McCormack, P Barden (0-3), N Mulligan, D McElligott, B Kavanagh (0-1), S McCormack (0-8, 6f)

Subs: P Kelly (1-0) for P McCormack (35), J McGivney for N Mulligan (59), P Foy for J Keegan (68), F McGee for D McElligott (70).

Wexford: A Masterson; R Tierney, G Molloy, N Murphy; B Malone, D Murphy, A Flynn (0-1); A Shore, D Waters; R Barry (0-3, 1f), C Lyng (0-4, 3f), B Brosnan (0-1); C Morris, E Bradley (0-1), PJ Banville (0-1)

Subs: L Chin for N Murphy (20), R Quinlivan for A Shore (45), P Byrne for B Brosnan (45), S Roche (0-2) for C Morris (51), C Carty for E Bradley (70)

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)