Paddy Duggan on the ball for Slashers in evading the challenge of Colmcille opponent Cathal Reilly. Action from the SFC Group 3 game at the Dromard grounds. Photo: Declan Gilmore
Five points behind in the closing stages of the first half, Longford Slashers showed a lot of spirit to battle back for a draw against Colmcille in the opening round of the Senior Football Championship at Pairc na nGael, Dromard on Saturday evening.
Colmcille . . . 2-12 Longford Slashers . . . 2-12
Inspired by a fine goal from Andrew Kelly just before the break to trail by just the minimum of margins (1-6 to 1-5), the resolute Slashers side just refused to accept defeat and had a glorious chance of winning this cracking contest deep into stoppage time.
Gerard Flynn elected to go for a goal when a point was there for the taking and his close range shot was well saved by Colmcille keeper Mark Kiernan in the fourth minute of additional time.
Showing a few positional changes from the teams listed on the programme with both operating with a sweeper system, Colmcille got the boost of a goal from a penalty converted by Ciaran McKeon with eight minutes gone on the clock.
The goals in the second half were scored by Barry McKeon (36th minute) with Barry Gilleran converting a penalty for Slashers in the 45th minute to bring about a frantic and exciting final quarter.
COLMCILLE: Mark Kiernan; Kieran Brady, Cormac Hughes, Martin Mulligan; Declan Reilly, Conor Grant, Darren Mulligan; Fergal Sheridan (0-2), Barry McKeon (1-1, point from free); Gerry Mulligan, Paul McKeon (0-1), Rory Hawkins (0-3); Noel Farrell, Cathal McCabe (0-2), Ciaran McKeon (1-2, goal from penalty).
Subs:- Declan Farrell for N Farrell (36 mins); Cathal Reilly (0-1) for D Mulligan (38 mins); Enda Macken for C McKeon (two minutes into stoppage time).
LONGFORD SLASHERS: Colm Farrell; Ronan Kenny, Barry Gilleran (1-2, goal from penalty, points from frees), Paddy Duggan; Sean Clarke (0-2), Dermot Brady, Gerard Flynn; Peter Foy (0-2), Andy Dalton (0-1); Andrew Kelly (1-2, points from frees), Robbie Clarke, Conor Clarke; Ruairi Clarke (0-1), Niall Mulligan (0-1), Robbie O’Connell (0-1).
Subs:- Daire O’Brien for R O’Connell (42 mins); Liam Barry for P Duggan (54 mins); Cian Kavanagh for A Kelly (57 mins); Darragh O’Connell for Robbie Clarke (59 mins).
Referee: Donal Kane (Young Grattans).