Longford’s build-up to the Leinster Minor Football Championship clash against Dublin on April 19th continued with victory over Sligo at the Slashers grounds on Saturday last in their final Connacht League game.
It was another good result for Longford who have lost just one competitive match this year - against Galway in the Connacht League. Their main objective was putting in performances but they can be delighted with the way results have gone for them.
Gareth Johnston’s side were behind by five points at one stage but showed great determination to get back into the game and then see it out in the closing minutes.
The crucial score came in the 43rd minute when Conor Berry rose highest to flick the ball to the net and after that the game turned in their favour.
Rian Brady registered the opening score in the first minute. Both sides then hit some wides before Longford were dealt a blow in the 10th minute when midfielder Shane Kenny had to go off injured. Sligo’s first score came one minute later when Nathan Rooney pointed a free.
Another Rooney free put Sligo ahead in the 21st minute. One minute later they extended their lead to four points when Gerard Brady finished the ball to the net.
In the 24th minute Longford nearly responded in terrific fashion but Eoin Higgins’ effort came off the post. Rooney was on target again in the 25th minute with a free to put Sligo five points in front.
Longford’s second score of the first half came just before the break when David McGivney pointed a free after Rian Brady was fouled.
McGivney pointed another free four minutes into the second half and then soon after Nigel Rabbitte’s low shot just went wide. A good point from midfielder Darragh Cummins put Sligo ahead by four in the 40th minute but that was to be their final score of the game.
Longford got right back into contention in the 43rd minute when Conor Berry’s goal cut the gap to just one point and then a terrific score from Rian Brady one minute later left the sides all square. Brady fired over his third point in the 46th minute to edge Longford in front.
In the 49th minute Sligo launched a dangerous attack when Kyle Cawley played in Nathan Rooney but Longford keeper David Shannon pulled off an excellent save to deny the opposing full-forward. It was a real turning point because minutes later Longford went two in front when Cathal McCabe shot over the bar.
The momentum was now with the home county and a fantastic point from wing-back Nigel Rabbitte put three between the sides in the 54th minute. Two minutes later McGivney fired over a fine score to give Longford a four point winning margin and the attention is now firmly focused on the Leinster Championship first round game against Dublin at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday week.
LONGFORD: David Shannon; Darragh McLoughlin, Ronan Sweeney, Niall O’Farrell; Nigel Rabbitte (0-1), Dessie Reynolds, Eoin Higgins; Shane Kenny, David McGivney (0-3, 2 frees); Aaron Earley, Conor Berry (1-0), Cathal McCabe (0-1); Rian Brady (0-3), Aidan McElligott, Ciaran Donohoe.
Subs:- Barry McKiernan for S Kenny (injured, 10 mins), Russell Brady for N O’Farrell (42 mins); Robbie Clarke for C Donohoe (46 mins); Jayson Matthews for A McElligott (51 mins); Chris Gordon for C McCabe (60 mins); Liam Barry for E Higgins (61 mins).
SLIGO: Daniel Cafferkey; Conor Watters, Eddie McGuinness, Aaron Clerkin; Ryan Feehily, Cian Gilmartin, Gerard O’Kelly Lynch; Darragh Cummins (0-1), Paul McNamara; Ciaran Stenson, Kyle Cawley, Niall O’Dowd; Cian Lally, Nathan Rooney (0-3, 3 frees), Gerard Brady (0-1).
Subs:- Paul Kilcoyne for G O’Kelly Lynch (57 mins), Kevin Banks for G Brady (58mins)
Referee: Marty Parker
Longford Minors Fundraising Draw
The Longford minor squad have organised a fundraising draw which will take place at the Leinster Minor Championship first round clash against Dublin at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday April 19th. Tickets cost 10 euro each with the following prizes to be won:
Ist Prize: 2 Tickets for One
Direction Concert and 500
euro in cash
2nd Prize: 500 euro
3rd Prize: ‘32 Inch TV
4th Prize: Meal Voucher for Viewmount House to the value of 250 euro
5th Prize: 2 All-Ireland
Football Final Tickets
6th Prize: Family season
ticket to County