longford looking for improvement

Longford's John Keegan and Offaly's Niall Smith battle to win possession during Sunday's Leinster SFC encounter. Photo: Kevin Leavy
It may not have been pretty but it was all about the result.

It may not have been pretty but it was all about the result.

Longford bridged a 49 years gap to when they last defeated Offaly in the Leinster senior football championship on Sunday as they overcame the disjointed visitors by 0-19 to 0-15 and their reward is a quarter-final showdown with Wexford at home in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on the weekend of June 7/8.

Manager Jack Sheedy certainly hit the nail on the head when he admitted afterwards, “We weren’t pretty for a lot of it. There is big room for improvement.”

It was Wexford that condemned Longford to Division 4 football for 2015 and there is plenty of recent history between the two counties, so an intriguing confrontation is in store.

The winners will advance to meet All-Ireland champions Dublin or Laois in the penultimate round.

Morale in Longford wasn’t good following the sucker blow of suffering relegation for the second consecutive year but the victory over Offaly provides them with a timely lift. “We did some soul searching and discussion after the league,” remarked Sheedy.

See Pages 94 & 95 for more on Longford’s win.

With just two days left until we go to the polls on ‘Super Friday’, it is not surprising that canvassers were out in force around Pearse Park.

Candidates were distributing ‘team lists’ to patrons which no doubt impacted on programme sales and this certainly won’t have impressed the Leinster Council or Longford County Board public relations personnel.

Balloons, bottles of water, bicycles and literature promoting local, by-election and Euro candidates were all utilised in a desperate push to secure precious votes.

Many patrons were also unhappy with ticket sales arrangements on the day and that there was a fee of €3 for children to gain entry to the match.

Ticket sales are the responsibility of Leinster Council and no doubt they’ll be working to rectify any difficulties encountered ahead of the quarter-final.

While it was a positive weekend for Longford seniors, the minor footballers didn’t enjoy the same good fortune as Gareth Johnston’s side lost out after an extra-time thriller against Kildare by 2-13 to 2-17 at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday afternoon last. See report on Page 93.

While in Saturday’s curtain-raiser, Longford (1-18) drew with Fermanagh (2-15) in the third round of the Lory Meagher Cup. The same counties meet in the final on Saturday, June 7 at Croke Park, Joe O’Brien scored ten points. See report on Page 92.