After suffering a demoralising 4-11 to 1-6 hammering against Westmeath opponents Garrycastle on their last appearance in the Club Championship back in November 2011, Longford Slashers will be hoping to make some sort of impact in Leinster this season.
Slashers are in action against Rathnew in the provincial series at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday next (throw-in 2.30pm). The first round tie was scheduled for Aughrim but the Wicklow champions conceded home advantage as part of the deal in relation to the Leinster Club fixture change.
Slashers agreed to the request from the Wicklow County Board to move the match back a week in order for the delayed Wicklow county final to be played instead on Sunday last (the original date for the Leinster Club game) and which resulted in a win for Rathnew who got the better of Baltinglass by a point, 3-9 to 1-14.
While Rathnew, with two of Wicklow’s top footballers in Leighton Glynn and James Stafford, are a vastly experiened outfit who are previous winners of the Leinster Senior Club title (2001), it is time for Slashers to make their mark in the provincial championship and nothing other than a win on Sunday will satisfy team manager Denis Connerton.
Winners of the Longford Senior Championship three times in the last four years, Slashers are backboned by five current county players in Dermot Brady, Barry Gilleran, Michael Brady, Peter Foy and Niall Mulligan who all featured in the extra-time defeat against Wexford in Round 2 of the All-Ireland Qualifiers back in July.
Providing they play to their potential, Slashers are well capable of progressing a stage further in the provincial series and will be looking to Foy, Martin Nevin and the Smith brothers Colin and Mark to get the vital scores. Should Slashers succeed in crossing the first hurdle, the reward is another home game against the powerful Portlaoise side in the quarter-final the following Sunday, November 10th.