Allianz National Football League Division 2
Galway . . . . . . . . 3-11 Longford . . . . . . 3-7
Desperate for a positive result after the bitter disappointment of narrow defeats against Wexford, Westmeath and Armagh, there was no change of luck for Longford who suffered a shattering blow of conceding a late goal against Galway and ended up getting nothing in the fierce battle to avoid relegation in Division 2 of the National Football League.
With just two minutes of normal time remaining at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday, the sides were all square and a draw was looking the likely outcome but Galway then found the back of the net when Paul Conroy got the vital touch to the ball after connecting with a Michael Martin free that dropped short of the posts.
Almost immediately wing back Gary Sice surged forward to fire over the insurance point for Galway and while Longford were unlucky not to get at least a draw, the games are running out for Glenn Ryan’s side who are now looking doomed for the drop into Division 3 – particularly with such a tough task away to promotion chasing Derry at Celtic Park on Saturday evening next, throw-in 7pm.
A defeat against Derry would almost certainly result in relegation and there is more bad news for Longford in that Paul Barden, who played in the first half of the game against Armagh the previous week, has suffered another injury setback and is ruled out for the remainder of the league campaign.
LONGFORD: Damien Sheridan (Dromard); Dermot Brady (Longford Slashers), Barry Gilleran (Longford Slashers), Fergal Battrim (Abbeylara); Colm P Smyth (Abbeylara, 0-1), Michael Quinn (Killoe Young Emmets), Shane Mulligan (Mullinalaghta St. Columba’s); John Keegan (Mullinalaghta St. Columba’s), Michael Brady (Longford Slashers); Bernard McElvaney (Ballymore), Donal McElligott (Mullinalaghta St. Columba’s, 1-2), Aidan Rowan (Cashel); Francis McGee (Dromard), David Barden (Clonguish), Sean McCormack (Killoe Young Emmets, 2-4, three points from frees).
Subs:- Niall Mulligan (Longford Slashers) for A Rowan (32 mins); Kevin Diffley (Ballymahon) for J Keegan (34 mins); Declan Reilly (Colmcille) for K Diffley (60 mins); Padraig McCormack (Killoe Young Emmets) for D Barden (65 mins); Peter Foy (Cashel, transferring to Longford Slashers) for M Quinn (71 mins).
Read Padraic O’Brien’s full report in the next edition of the Longford Leader, on sale on Wednesday