Conor Keegan pictured in action for the Longford hurlers against Fermanagh in the National League Division 3B game at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday last. Photo: Syl Healy
Goals in each half from Luke Kelly and Eugene Kiernan guided the Longford senior hurlers to a flying start in Division 3B of the National League as they recorded a comprehensive win over Fermanagh at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday last.
Allianz National Hurling League Division 3B - Round 1
Longford . . . . . 2-13 Fermanagh . . . . . 0-7
Last season Longford struggled against Fermanagh but there was no repeat this year. The margin was 12 points but it could have been so much more, such was Longford’s dominance and the chances they created. Fermanagh were poor and had to play the majority of the game with 14 men after an early red card.
Longford used their numerical advantage perfectly. The gameplan was to take the game to Fermanagh and that’s exactly what they did.
Their first score came in the 7th minute and it was a goal by Luke Kelly. Despite playing against a strong wind, Longford went in at the break ahead by two points, 1-4 to 0-5. Paddy Farrington also had a chance just before half-time to get his side’s second goal but failed to find the net.
Longford upped their performance in the second half and Fermanagh struggled to contain them as they were limited to scoring just two points.
Eugene Kiernan was moved into full-forward in the second half and done well to grab a goal. Once again Paddy Walsh, Paddy Farrington and Cathal Mullane were the main threats for Longford but it was wing-back Daire Duggan who scored the point of the game with a stunning strike from about 70 metres out.
Manager Ray Gavin was delighted his side made a winning start to the league campaign. After a poor Kehoe Cup campaign Longford had a much needed victory in a challenge before the league opener and they brought that performance into the Fermanagh game.
Gavin said: “We got a great performance last week against Westmeath’s U-21s and it was great to have that coming into the Fermanagh game. I knew we would get it right.”
Before this game Gavin stressed how important it was to not only make a winning start in the league but to win the home games. He said: “We have four games; two at home and two away. The least you got to do is win your home games. We have now won the first home game and it gives us two points on the board.”
Gavin has been pleased with the commitment his players have given him; not just this season but since he took over three years ago. He hopes that they can get their just rewards this year.
”They are good, honest lads who are working hard and giving me great commitment. They have been like that since the start. We are getting great numbers at training too and I hope we can get some success this year.”
Longford were without Karl and Reuben Murray, Cian McLoughlin and John Mulhern (injured) for the Fermanagh game and it was a good result for them in the end.
The result and performance has given Gavin and his side a boost going into their next game away to Leitrim on Sunday. It will be Leitrim’s first game of the league campaign as they had a bye in the opening round.
Gavin said: “It’s great to get that win and look ahead to the Leitrim game with some confidence and hoping you can bring that performance into that match in the bid for another win. That would leave us in a good position in our quest to reach the Division 3B league final.”
LONGFORD: Breen Elliott; Gerard Moore, Eoghan Kavanagh, Thomas Egan; Ray O’Brien, Seamus Hannon, Daire Duggan (0-1); Paddy Walsh (0-3), Paul Barden Jnr; Johnny Casey (0-1), Conor Keegan (0-1), Eugene Kiernan (1-0); Paddy Farrington (0-2), Luke Kelly (1-0), Cathal Mullane (0-4).
Subs:- Shane O’Brien (0-1), Aidan Sheridan, Stephen Farrell, John Gaffney, Jamie Rosney.