Longford achieved that elusive first win in 2015 after overcoming Antrim at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday last and collecting both precious points is certainly a considerable boost for the promotion hopes in Division 4 of the National Football League.
Just a single score separated the sides in the finish (0-14 to 0-13) with Brian Kavanagh firing over a late free to clinch the vital victory. Longford survived a real test of character to move into joint second spot in the table alongside Carlow with the also unbeaten Offaly currently in pole position.
All of a sudden the picture looks a good bit brighter for manager Jack Sheedy and his players and they will head to London in a fairly confident frame of mind for the next league fixture at the Ruislip grounds on Saturday Feb 28th.
A draw against Leitrim and the badly needed win at the expense of Antrim must be regarded as a positive start and while Longford will be expected to pick up two more points over in England, they are a team in transition and thus cannot take anything for granted.
A number of younger players are getting their chance at the moment and it was most pleasing to see the promising Barry McKeon (Colmcille) on the senior stage, making his mark in kicking two crucial points against Antrim amid the heavy fog that almost forced the game to be postponed.
Taking into account that Enda Williams (injured against Leitrim) and Colm P Smyth (virus) were ruled out for the Round 2 fixture on Sunday last, along with the significant setback of Michael Quinn (injured) being unable to start at midfield, Longford done well to beat the experienced Antrim team with Quinn coming on in the 60th minute to make a difference.
But they almost blew it by squandering several scoring chances in the second half, much to the frustration of the vociferous home supporters among the small attendance in the region of 400.
Longford fortunately came out on top in the finish with Antrim missing a difficult free in stoppage time to snatch a draw. Winning the home games is such a key factor in the quest for promotion and the next visitors to Pearse Park will be Waterford on Sunday March 8th.
Round 1 Results: Waterford 0-14 Wicklow 0-10; Antrim 1-12 Carlow 0-15; Leitrim 0-15 Longford 1-12; London 1-2 Offaly 0-9.
Round 2 Results: Carlow 2-9 London 0-13; Longford 0-14 Antrim 0-13; Offaly 0-13 Waterford 1-4; Wicklow 0-11 Leitrim 0-10.
Round 3 Fixtures: Saturday February 28 - London v Longford, Ruislip, 2pm; Waterford v Carlow 7pm; Sunday March 1 - Wicklow v Offaly 2pm, Leitrim v Antrim 2pm.