A strong second half performance from Longford Slashers saw them capture the Reserve Football League 1 title with a fine win over Mostrim in a very entertaining final at Michael Fay Park on Sunday last.
Martin Nevin and Marc Diffley, in particular, figured most prominently in the Slashers success. The home side started the better and registered three early points through Philip Dobson, Tom Madden and Ross Flaherty. Mostrim replied with scores from Thomas Gallagher and Matthew Kelly before Flaherty put two between the sides.
In the 12th minute Mostrim went ahead with a goal from Thomas Gallagher. One minute later they stretched the lead to four when Darren Bloomer found the net from Matthew Kelly’s quick free. But their momentum was broken in the 17th minute when defender Damien Moran was forced to retire with a nasty injury.
Slashers then took control of the game and seven scores in a row including a well-taken goal from Marc Diffley in the 20th minute turned a four point deficit into a five point advantage but Mostrim were back in the game in the 29th minute when Matthew Kelly got a goal from a penalty.
In first half stoppage time a goal and a point from Kelly gave Mostrim a slight edge going in at the break; 4-3 to 1-11. Kelly then put two between the sides with a point from a free with a couple of minutes gone on the changeover before Slashers got completely on top.
They were quickly on level terms with points from Martin Nevin and Darren Flaherty and Nevin put them ahead in the 39th minute. Further points from Philip Dobson (one free), substitute Shane Campbell and Nevin extended the Slashers lead to five points in the 50th minute and that settled the issue.
LONGFORD SLASHERS: Colm Farrell; Diarmuid McRory, Paul Devine, Tadgh Maher; Darren Flaherty (0-1), Dominic Glennon, Brian Farrell; Leon Doherty, Andrew Dalton; Marc Diffley (1-1), Martin Tarmey (0-2), Ross Flaherty (0-3); Martin Nevin (0-6), Philip Dobson (0-5, two frees), Tom Madden (0-1).
Subs:- Shane O’Connell for P Devine (half-time); Shane Campbell (0-1) for T Madden (40 mins); Martin Jennings for R Flaherty (59 mins).
MOSTRIM: Michael O’Hara; Damien Moran, John Coyle, Brian Smith; Cathal Smith, Padraig Jones, Ciaran Gallagher; Niall Quinn, David Morgan (0-1); Darren Bloomer (1-0), Thomas Gallagher (1-1), Joe Dempsey; Matthew Kelly (2-4, one goal from penalty), Sean Noone, Michael Hussey.
Subs:- Luke Kelly for D Moran (injured, 17 mins), Andy Kelly for N Quinn (50 mins).
Referee: Frank Toher (Killoe Emmet Og).