Longford crush London with polished performance in Ruislip

Alan Walsh


Alan Walsh

Longford attacker Francis McGee about to dispatch a goal beyond Meath's Paddy O'Rourke in the Bord na Mona O'Byrne Cup recently. McGee shone against London today, chipping in with four points.
Allianz National Football League Division 4 Rd 3, London 0-6 Longford 1-18

Allianz National Football League Division 4 Rd 3, London 0-6 Longford 1-18

Jack Sheedy’s Longford preserved their unbeaten run in Division 4 of the Allianz National Football League with an emphatic 1-18 to 0-6 victory over London in desperate underfoot conditions at Ruislip earlier this afternoon (Saturday, February 28).

This fifteen point win moves Longford, with five points from a possible six after three fixtures, to the top of the Div 4 table (where they’ll remain overnight at least) and in Round 4 on Sunday week, March 8, they will host Waterford in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park at 2pm.

Despite the absence of key men Michael Quinn (Emmet Og Killoe) and Brian Kavanagh (Kilmacud Crokes), both ruled out with hamstring injuries, Longford professionally negotiated this potential banana skin, the treacherous quagmire-like conditions and they were ruthless in the manner in which they put the Exiles to the sword.

At the interval, Longford led 0-8 to 0-2, and when Colmcille’s Paul McKeon blasted home the game’s only goal in the 45th minute the floodgates opened.

McKeon’s strike made it 1-11 to 0-2, and as Sean McCormack and Colm P Smyth quickly followed up to become Longford’s 8th and 9th scorers of the game, respectively, it saw the focused visitors establish an unassailable 14-point cushion, 1-13 to 0-2.

Lorcan Mulvey and Alan O’Hara (his third point of the game) responded with points for London, 1-13 to 0-4, but Longford, who lost defender Peter Foy to a black card (he was replaced by Fergal Battrim) and went on to empty their bench, outscored their opponents by 0-5 to 0-2 over the concluding fourteen minutes.

Paul McKeon (free), Sean McCormack, Francis McGee, along with subs Conor Quaine (making his NFL debut) and Padraig Gill contributed Longford’s final five points, with London replying through Scott Conroy and sub Shane Buckley with virtually the last kick of what proved to be a one-sided encounter.

Eleven players in all scored for Longford and it was the dominance of half back trio Colm P Smyth, Diarmuid Masterson and Enda Williams, all of whom scored, that provided the launch-pad for an easier than expected victory as London had pushed Offaly and Carlow close in their opening assignments of the league.

Paul McKeon, with 1-3 to his credit, and Francis McGee (0-4), were the most influential figures upfront, with Sean McCormack growing in confidence the longer the contest went on.

After 25 minutes, Longford led 0-6 to 0-1, and having dictated the early pace, that’s how things continued and the impressive result certainly keeps their promotion push on course. After the Waterford game on March 8, Longford’s remaining three fixtures are away to Wicklow (March 15), home to Offaly (March 29) and away to Carlow (April 5).

Longford scorers: Paul McKeon 1-3 (0-2 frees), Francis McGee 0-4 (0-1 free), Kevin Diffley 0-2, Sean McCormack 0-2, Enda Williams 0-1, Diarmuid Masterson 0-1, Barry McKeon 0-1, Ronan McEntire 0-1, Colm P Smyth 0-1, Conor Quaine 0-1, Padraig Gill 0-1

London scorers: Alan O’Hara 0-3, Lorcan Mulvey 0-1 (free), Scott Conroy 0-1, Shane Buckley 0-1

Longford: Paddy Collum (Fr Manning Gaels); Dermot Brady (Longford Slashers, captain), Barry O’Farrell (Carrickedmond), Peter Foy (Longford Slashers); Colm P Smyth (Abbeylara), Diarmuid Masterson (Dromard), Enda Williams (Clonguish); Barry Gilleran (Longford Slashers), Kevin Diffley (Ballymahon); Shane Doyle (Kenagh), Paul McKeon (Colmcille), Ronan McEntire (Dromard); Barry McKeon (Colmcille), Sean McCormack (Emmet Og Killoe), Francis McGee (Dromard).

Subs: Fergal Battrim (Abbeylara) for P Foy (black card, 53 mins), Padraig Gill (Fr Manning Gaels) for Shane Doyle (54 mins), Aidan Rowan (Cashel) for R McEntire (57 mins), Conor Quaine (Legan Sarsfields) for K Diffley (59 mins), Diarmuid Cooney (Fr Manning Gaels) for F McGee (64 mins), Thomas Gallagher (St Mary’s Granard) for D Brady (66 mins).

London: Brian Kavanagh; Donnacha McCarthy, Philip Butler, Philip Galvin; Stephen Curran, Martin Carroll, Michael Walsh; Cathal Og Greene, Aaron Bradley; Lorcan Mulvey, Sean Finn, Danny McBride; Adrian Moyles, Scott Conroy, Alan O’Hara.

Referee: James Molloy, Galway.