Useful exercise for Longford despite defeat

Roscommon . . . . . . . . . . . 1-18

Roscommon . . . . . . . . . . . 1-18

Longford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-13

Deniese O’Flaherty reporting from Kilglass Gaels GFC

Despite falling to a defeat against a strong Roscommon side at the official opening of Kilglass Gaels new pitch on Sunday last, Longford can be happy with the performance they produced in the build-up to the Leinster Championship first round clash against Offaly on May 18th.

With Roscommon in action against Cavan in the National League Division 3 Final at Croke Park on Saturday next, this was a useful exercise for both sides.

Longford were leading by three points at the break, 1-6 to 0-6, but the management team made a big number of changes at half-time in allowing Roscommon to get back into the game. They turned the game around in the second half to lead by six but a fantastic goal from Cian Mimnagh late on left just two points in it at the end.

Roscommon made a good start to the game and hit over two fine points inside the opening two minutes through Senan Kildbride and Darragh Donnelly but Longford replied with a goal from Mark Hughes after good play from Shane Doyle. Doyle was excellent in the first half before he was taken off at half-time as Jack Sheedy tried out other players.

Doyle got on the scoresheet himself in the 5th minute after receiving the ball from Paul Barden. Cathal Cregg hit over an excellent point for Roscommon before Darren Gallagher restored Longford’s two point advantage with a fine point in the 9th minute.

Points were exchanged between Niall Daly and Mark Hughes (free) before Craig Burns and Daly again levelled the game for Roscommon by the 22nd minute. Longford enjoyed a lot of possession but squandered a number of chances with a strong crossfield wind proving to be a hindrance.

A Francis McGee free in the 30th minute put Longford in front again and two frees from Mark Hughes in stoppage time gave them a three point advantage going in at the break.

Another Hughes free stretched Longford’s lead to four points just one minute into the second half before Roscommon got a stranglehold on the game and fired over five points in a row to take the lead by the 43rd minute.

Longford drew level with a point from Ronan McEntire moments later but two minutes later Colin Compton gave Roscommon the lead. Francis McGee levelled again for Longford but the Rossies replied with two points.

Mark Hughes and Cathal Cregg then traded points and by the 62nd minute Longford were level through points from Padraig Gill and Cian Mimnagh - only for Roscommon to hit back with a goal from Craig Burns.

A point from Cathal Cregg put four between the sides in the 64th minute. Substitute Donie Shine was then on target with an excellent score one minute later and got his second from a free in the 70th minute.

In stoppage time Darren Gallagher fired over a free for Longford and right at the end Cian Mimnagh found the net with a stunning strike.

ROSCOMMON: Darren O’Malley; Seanie McDermott, Neil Collins, Niall Carty; David Keenan, Niall Daly (0-2), Ciaran Cafferky; Cathal Shine, Michael Finneran; Craig Burns (1-1), Darragh Donnelly (0-1), Ciaran Murtagh; Senan Kilbride (0-1), Cathal Cregg (0-5), David O’Gara (0-2).

Subs used:- Finbarr Cregg, Colin Compton (0-1), Ronan Stack, Donal Keane (0-2), David Flynn, Donie Shine (0-3, 1 free).

LONGFORD: Damien Sheridan; Fergal Battrim, Barry Gilleran, Barry O’Farrell; Fergal Reilly, Enda Williams, Peter Brady; John Keegan, Michael Quinn; Darren Gallagher (0-2, 1 free), Paul Barden, Shane Doyle (0-1); Paul McKeon, Francis McGee (0-2, 2 frees), Mark Hughes (1-5, 4 frees).

Subs used:- Colm P Smyth, Shane Mulligan, Michael Brady, Kevin Diffley, Ronan McEntire (0-1), Cian Mimnagh (1-1), Rory Connor, Padraig Gill (0-1), Peter Foy.

Referee: Ger Carberry