Allianz National Football League Division 4 - Round 4
Longford . . . . 1-12 Waterford . . . . 1-10
Longford almost let victory slip from their grasp in the National Football League Division 4 clash against Waterford at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday and were very relieved to hear the sound of the final whistle as they held out for a slender success.
Just two points separated the sides in the finish, which was hard to believe as Longford held a very commanding ten points lead (1-11 to 0-4) with 52 minutes played in the game and there appeared to be no way back for Waterford.
Both sides were down to 14 players at this stage with Longford’s Shane Doyle (40 mins) and Waterford’s Shane Aherne (49 mins) sent-off for second yellow card offences but the course of the game gradually changed.
Thanks to a well-taken goal from Francis McGee (set up by Enda Williams) in the 24th minute, Longford were 1-10 to 0-4 in front at the break with McGee also accounting for four of the points (one free).
Doyle, Paul McKeon and a brace apiece from Barry McKeon (free and play) and Sean McCormack were also on target for Longford but they fell apart in the second half in managing just two more scores through B McKeon and McCormack.
Waterford, on the other hand, staged a determined comeback to clock up 1-6 on the changeover with corner-forward Michael Ferncombe grabbing the goal in the 66th minute to ensure an exciting finish but Longford had done enough to collect two more vital points that moves them alongside the also unbeaten Offaly at the top of the table in the race for promotion.
LONGFORD: Paddy Collum (Fr Manning Gaels); Fergal Battrim (Abbeylara), Barry O’Farrell (Carrickedmond), Peter Foy (Longford Slashers); Colm P Smyth (Abbeylara), Diarmaid Masterson (Dromard), Enda Williams (Clonguish); Barry Gilleran (Longford Slashers), Kevin Diffley (Ballymahon); Shane Doyle (Kenagh, 0-1), Paul McKeon (Colmcille, 0-1), Ronan McEntire (Dromard); Barry McKeon (Colmcille, 0-3, one free), Sean McCormack (Killoe Emmet Og, 0-3), Francis McGee (Dromard, 1-4, one point from free).
Subs:- Aidan Rowan (Cashel) for P Foy (black card, 22 mins); Michael Quinn (Killoe Emmet Og) for R McEntire (43 mins); Padraig Gill (Fr Manning Gaels) for B McKeon (62 mins); Mark Hughes (Killoe Emmet Og) for F McGee (66 mins).
WATERFORD: Stephen Enright; Ray O’Ceallaigh, Thomas O’Gorman, Maurice O’Gorman; Tadhg O hUallachain, Liam Lawlor, Conor Phelan; Shane Aherne (0-1, free), Tommy Prendergast; Liam O Lonain, Michael O’Halloran, Patrick Hurney (0-3); Mark Ferncombe (1-3), Paul Whyte (0-2, one free), JJ Hutchinson.
Subs:- Oran Keevers for C Phelan (18 mins); Shane Briggs for T O hUallachain (black card, 32 mins); Joey Veale (0-1) for L O Lonain (half-time); Gavin Nugent for M O’Halloran (injured, 39 mins).
Referee: Shane Hehir (Galway).