Longford suffered a narrow defeat in the opening round of the Gerry Reilly U-16 Football Tournament played on Saturday evening (2 July) in Millbrook, Oldcastle.
Westmeath dominated the opening minutes and were first on the scoresheet with a point from Josh Beaumont.
Aidan McGuire was on target as he sent over a converted free for Longford to bring them into the game after four minutes.
Westmeath put the pressure on from here and added a ‘45 and a goal from Beaumont following good work from the forwards. Longford didn’t lose heart and kept battling, adding another to their tally. However it was Westmeath who were in the driving seat for the remainder of the half with a point from Shane Allen and 1-1 from John Tumelty.
Longford’s Kian Gilmore struck at the final stage of the second half and as he buried the ball, he ensured Longford were kept in the game for the second half. There was just a goal between the sides at the break.
The second half started much the same as the first with Westmeath adding 1-1 in the early stages. However, Longford owned the third quarter of the game as they pushed on and reduced the deficit to two points.
With points from Dylan Farrell, McGuire and 1-1 from Shea Carberry, Longford looked to be turning this game around. They had put the pressure on and both sides had all to play for entering the last quarter of the game. Westmeath worked up the field and produced three fine scores within as many minutes. The sides then traded scores with Farrell sending over a free for Longford and Beaumont added his third score of the day.
With five minutes to go Jordan Shields found the back of the net once more for Longford to reduce the deficit again to two points but with Coughlan sending over his fourth free of the day in the last minutes of the game to ensure Westmeath were three points clear on the final whistle. The final score was Westmeath 3-10 to Longford’s 3-7.
Westmeath’s John Tumelty received the ‘Man of the match’ award.
Meanwhile, in other Round 1 matches Cavan were 3-12 to 1-11 winners over Louth, while Meath proved much too strong for Wicklow, winning on scoreline of 8-22 to 1-3.
Scorers for Westmeath: Josh Beaumont 1-2, John Tumelty 1-1, Conan O’Hara 0-4 (4f), Colin Murphy 1-0, Neil Clinton, Adam Gilbride and Shane Allen 0-1 each.
Scorers for Longford: Shea Carberry 1-1, Dylan Farrell 0-4 (4f), Kian Gilmore and Jordan Shields 1-0 each , Aidan McGuire 0-2 (1f).