Showing great character in coming from five points down in the early stages of the second half to eventually overcome Roscommon in a highly entertaining encounter at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday last, Longford are now in pole position for a serious promotion challenge in Division 3 of the National Football League after winning their third game in a row to join the also unbeaten Antrim at the top of the table.
The main priority for manager Glenn Ryan at the start of the season was to see his side retain their status in this extremely tough league and while Longford now look safe with strugglers Offaly and Tipperary pointless, there are other difficult fixtures to come starting with a trip to Sligo on Sunday next and a lot of hard work remains to be done if Division 2 football in 2013 is to become a reality.
Longford looked in big trouble when Roscommon registered a couple of goals in the early stages of the local derby, watched by the official attendance of 1,644, and the deceptive stiff wind blowing across the pitch was creating a lot of problems for the players. Cathal Cregg blasted the ball past opposing keeper Damien Sheridan in the 5th minute and the home county suffered another bad blow in the 7th minute when Ger Heneghan shot into the empty net.
Heneghan was clean through when he collected a terrific pass from Conor Devaney and proceeded to keep his composure in weaving his way around Sheridan for a quick second goal that left Longford reeling on the ropes after they had made the better start with a brace of well-taken points from Paul Kelly whose workrate was immense throughout this exciting game.
But the current county team are made of stern stuff and gradually recovered to close the gap with Bernard McElvaney firing over a crucial long range strike in first half stoppage time to leave just three points separating the sides at the break, 2-4 to 0-7.
To read the full match report, see this week’s Longford Leader.