It took Longford quite some to assert their superiority over Offaly in the opening round of the National Football League at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday last but they eventually got their scoring act together in the second half to run out easy winners by the wide margin of 13 points in making a great start to the Division 3 campaign.
Victory in the home fixtures is so vital in such a competitive league and Glenn Ryan and his players will head to Breffni Park on Saturday evening next with high hopes of coming out on top in the eagerly awaited local derby against Cavan.
But the Longford manager is only too well aware that Offaly provided very poor opposition as they started with just five of the players that featured in the All-Ireland Qualifier Round 2 defeat by Limerick last year.
The fortunes of the faithful county would appear to be at a very low ebb indeed as they embark on a transition period under new manager Gerry Cooney who has made many changes and avoiding relegation to Division 4 looks like developing into a fierce struggle even when their class act forward Niall McNamee makes his return to the team.
Having said that, Offaly were very much in contention for most of the first half and were actually leading by 0-5 to 0-4 at one stage with three of their points coming from a brace of frees and a ‘45’ converted by full-forward Alan Mulhall with Nigel Dunne and Bernard Allen (free) also on target for the visitors.
To read the full match report, see this week’s Longford Leader.