Bart Hanley pictured in action for Longford against Louth in the Kehoe Cup Senior Hurling Tournament Round 1 game at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday last. Photo: Declan Gilmore
The Longford senior hurlers made a positive start to the new season with a win over Louth in the Kehoe Cup Tournament Round 1 game at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday last.
Longford . . . 4-11 Louth . . . 2-10
New manager Colum O’Meara is determined to make an immediate impact and the Galway native will be hoping for another good result when his squad take on the students, DCU/St Patrick’s Campus, in Round 2 of the Kehoe Cup at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday next, throw-in 12 noon.
The goals proved crucial for Longford in their eventual success over Louth by the fairly comfortable margin of seven points in the finish and first to find the back of the net was full-forward Cathal Mullane with less than a minute gone on the clock.
Mullane ended up with the impressive total of 2-8 inflicting most of the damage and the second Longford goal in the 12th minute came direct from a long range strike from Offaly native Jody Leonard following a bad mistake by the opposing keeper Stephen Hackett.
Louth ended up trailing by 2-6 to 0-6 at the break with Patrick Walsh and Karl Murray landing a point apiece for the home county and it got even better immediately on the changeover with Reuben Murray cutting in from the right to fire home a well-taken goal.
The fourth goal materialised in the 46th minute when Cathal Mullane got the vital touch to direct a long range free from Bart Hanley into the net, leaving Longford in a very commanding 4-7 to 0-7 advantage.
Credit to Louth for staging a comeback with goals from Gerard Smyth (free) and Shane Maguire in the 52nd and 58th minutes respectively as the gap was closed to four points in causing some anxiety for the Longford mentors.
The pressure was eased when Cathal Mullane converted a free in the 62nd minute and the chief marksman fired over a couple of more points (‘65 and play) to make absolutely certain of the Longford victory with Seamus Hannon bringing the scoring to a close when shooting over the bar in the third minute of stoppage time
LONGFORD: Conor Gallagher; Aidan Sheridan, Gerard Moore, Paddy Corcoran; Daniel Connell, Daire Duggan, Bart Hanley; Patrick Walsh (0-1), Seamus Hannon (0-1); Paul Barden, Karl Murray (0-1), Jody Leonard (1-0); Reuben Murray (1-0), Cathal Mullane (2-8, five frees, one ‘65), Ray O’Brien.
Subs used (unlimited):- Evan Murphy, Cian McLoughlin, Michael Farrell, Declan Lee, Eanna Daly, Shane Campbell.
LOUTH: Stephen Hackett; Conor Matthews, Shane Callan, Mike Lyons; Paddy McCormack (0-2, one ‘65), Andrew McCrave, Kevin Seery; Seaghan Connelly, Donal Ryan; Paul Matthews (0-1), Gerard Smyth (1-0, free), Niall Devlin (0-1); Shane Maguire (1-1), John Crosby (0-1), Stephen Kettle.
Subs used (unlimited): Conor Deane, Ronan Byrne, Ronan Geoghegan (0-3, frees), Michael Ryan, Kevin McNally, Mark Molloy (0-1), Liam Molloy, Colin Griffin.
Referee: Kieran Dooley (Offaly).