Longford senior hurling manager Ray Gavin.
The Longford senior hurlers crashed to a very heavy defeat against a far superior Derry outfit in Round 2A of the Nicky Rackard Cup at the Centre of Excellence in Owenbeg on Saturday.
Nicky Rackard Cup Hurling Championship - Round 2A
Derry . . . 8-21 Longford . . . 1-14
While all is not lost for Ray Gavin’s side with a second chance against Armagh in the quarter-final of the competition on Saturday next, the county hurlers are facing another very difficult task.
Derry got off a great start when a penalty was converted by Alan Grant in the first minute and further goals quickly followed from Brian Cassidy and Gerald Bradley.
Further goals from Brendan Rogers and Cassidy left the rampant home county in a very commanding 5-10 to 0-6 lead at the break but Longford, to their credit, battled back to get some scores in the early stages of the second half including a goal from substitute Eugene Kiernan.
Paddy Walsh emerged as the top scorer for the National League Division 3B champions, firing over a total of eight points (seven frees).
Longford were without Paddy Farrington and suffered another setback when chief marksman Cathal Mullane was forced to retire injured early on.
Longford’s tale of woe continued when they were reduced to 14 players after Gerry Moore was sent-off as he received a second yellow card during the course of the second half.
Brendan Rogers (3-2), Grant (2-5) and Cassidy (2-4) clocked up a massive 7-11 between them as the strong Derry side, relegated from the Christy Ring Cup last year, cruised into the Nicky Rackard Cup semi-finals.
Scorers - Derry: B Rogers (3-2), A Grant (2-5, one goal from penalty, four points from frees), B Cassidy (2-4), G Bradley (1-2), A Kelly (0-3), K Hinphey (0-1), D Cartin (0-1), P Cleary (0-1), E McGuckin (0-1), C McKaigue (0-1).
Scorers - Longford: Paddy Walsh (0-8, seven frees), Eugene Kiernan (1-0), Reuben Murray (0-2), Seamus Hannon (0-2), Cathal Mullane (0-1), John Mulhern (0-1).