Longford ease relegation worries with win over Sligo

Padraic O'Brien

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Padraic O'Brien

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padraig.obrien@longford-leader.ie

Longford ease relegation worries with win over Sligo

Padraig McCormack pictured in action for Longford against Sligo in the National Football League Division 3 game at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday. Photo: Declan Gilmore

Sean McCormack fired over seven points (five frees) in playing a leading role in Longford’s badly needed win over Sligo in the National Football League clash at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday.

 

Allianz National Football League Division 3 - Round 5

Longford . . . . . 0-16      Sligo . . . . 2-7  

The relegation worries have been eased with this positive result as Longford collected both vital points in moving a step closer to consolidating their Division 3 status and will surely be safe if they can win one of their remaining fixtures away to Laois (on Saturday evening next) and Antrim (Sunday April 2).

A decisive factor in favour of Denis Connerton’s charges on this occasion was the dismissal of Sligo defender Charlie Harrison who was sent-off after receiving two yellow cards in first half stoppage time and the extra man advantage gave the home county the boost they required to establish a grip on the game.  

Longford held a slender 0-10 to 2-3 lead at the break but then shot five wides in a row in the early stages of the second half before the pressure was lifted when Sean McCormack landed a terrific strike from play in the 45th minute.

Sligo were also guilty of some poor finishing in the second half in squandering several chances and Longford got on top to score three points in quick succession through Robbie Smyth, Sean McCormack and Barry McKeon between the 51st and 53rd minutes.  

The lead was extended when Smyth fired over a close range free in the 60th minute before Sligo were given a glimmer of hope with a point apiece from Adrian McIntyre and Neil Ewing, the latter on target in the 65th minute.

Moments later Sean McCormack (free) fired over his seventh point to complete a fine  performance and while Sligo hit back with a point from Niall Murphy in the 70th minute, they never looked like engineering a dramatic equalising goal in the lengthy stoppage time.

Longford, who started without injured duo John Keegan and Diarmuid Masterson, looked in some trouble when they conceded two goals in the early stages of the game - both scored by Sligo corner-forward Stephen Coen in the 8th and 12th minutes.

But the home county showed a lot of character in battling back to lead by the minimum of margins at the break, 0-10 to 2-3, with four of the scores coming from well struck frees converted by Sean McCormack.

James McGivney (2), Robbie Smyth (2), Barry McKeon and Darren Gallagher were also on target in the first half for Longford who were denied a clear-cut penalty in the 14th minute when Michael Quinn was brought down on his way through but they done enough on the changeover to emerge victorious.   

LONGFORD: Paddy Collum (Fr Manning Gaels); Andrew Farrell (Cashel), Barry Gilleran (Longford Slashers), Paul McGee (Dromard); Dermot Brady (Longford Slashers), Donal McElligott (Mullinalaghta St Columba’s), Padraig McCormack (Killoe Emmet Og); Michael Quinn (Killoe Emmet Og), Darren Gallagher (St Mary’s Granard, 0-1); Barry McKeon (Colmcille, 0-2), James McGivney (Mullinalaghta St Columba’s, 0-2), Barry O’Farrell (Carrickedmond); Robbie Smyth (Abbeylara, 0-4, two frees), Liam Connerton (Rathcline), Sean McCormack (Killoe Emmet Og, 0-7, five frees).

Subs:- Diarmuid Masterson (Dromard) for P McGee (46 mins); Larry Moran (Killoe Emmet Og) for R Smyth (68 mins); Brian Farrell (Mostrim) for D Gallagher (68 mins); Ronan McEntire (Dromard) for J McGivney (68 mins); Daniel Mimnagh (Killoe Emmet Og) for B McKeon (69 mins).

SLIGO: Aidan Devaney (0-2, ‘45 and free); Noel Gaughan, Ross Donovan, Charlie Harrison; Keelan Cawley, Neil Ewing (0-1), Kevin McDonnell; Patrick O’Connor, Adrian McIntyre (0-1); John Kelly, Cian Breheny, Eoin McHugh; Stephen Coen (2-0), Adrian Marren (0-2), Niall Murphy (0-1).

Subs:- Daniel Maye for N Gaughan (blood, 31 mins); Stephen Gilmartin for P O’Connor (half-time); Kyle Cawley for J Kelly (54 mins); Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch for C Breheny (54 mins); Pat Hughes for S Coen (56 mins); Brendan Egan for Keelan Cawley (black card, 59 mins); Criostoir Davey for A McIntyre (injured, four minutes into stoppage time).

Referee: Sean Lonergan (Tipperary).