Michael Quinn, who scored a crucial goal for Longford midway through the first half of the NFL Division 3 clash against Leitrim at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park
Unbeaten Longford collected two more vital points in the quest to consolidate their Division 3 status in the National Football League and a possible promotion bid with a convincing win over neighbouring rivals Leitrim at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday.
Longford . . . 2-14 Leitrim . . . 1-9
Played in difficult wet and windy conditions, Longford were a lot sharper in attack with Leitrim wasting several scoring chances - shooting a total of 13 wides as compared to just three three for the home county.
Longford got a crucial goal midway through the first half when Michael Quinn flicked the ball to the net after the Leitrim keeper Diarmuid McKiernan produced a point-blank save to stop a shot from Liam Connerton.
But the visitors got right back into contention with a goal from Darragh Rooney in the 33rd minute, firing home the breaking ball after his first attempt was well saved by Paddy Collum.
Just two points separated the sides at the break, 1-7 to 1-5, but Longford were the better team in the second half to remain in control and should have scored a second goal in the 56th minute when Liam Connerton had a point-blank shot brilliantly blocked on the line by Leitrim corner-back Paddy Maguire.
Whatever hopes Leitrim had of staging a late revival were dashed when defender Aidan Flynn was sent-off in the 60th minute after receiving a second yellow card.
Longford went five points clear when midfielder Kevin Diffley surged forward to fist the ball over the bar in stoppage time and moments later a Leitrim mistake was punished with Rian Brady scoring a second goal after receiving the perfect pass from Dessie Reynolds.
LONGFORD: Paddy Collum (Fr Manning Gaels, 0-1, ‘45); Gary Rogers (Mullinalaghta St Columba’s), Andrew Farrell (Cashel), Barry O’Farrell (Carrickedmond); Iarla O’Sullivan (Rathcline), Donal McElligott (Mullinalaghta St Columba’s), Colm P Smyth (Abbeylara, 0-1); Darren Gallagher (St Mary’s Granard, 0-4, all frees), Kevin Diffley (Ballymahon, 0-1); Michael Quinn (Killoe Emmet Og, 1-0), Daniel Mimnagh (Killoe Emmet Og, 0-1), Dessie Reynolds (Sean Connolly’s); Liam Connerton (Rathcline, 0-1), Rian Brady (Mullinalaghta St Columba’s, 1-2, one point from free), Oran Kenny (Rathcline, 0-3).
Subs:- Joseph Hagan (Dromard) for D Mimnagh (injured, 45 mins); Patrick Fox (Mullinalaghta St Columba’s) for CP Smyth (56 mins); Darragh Doherty (Mostrim) for L Connerton (61 mins); Peter Lynn (Longford Slashers) for O Kenny (69 mins); Gerard Flynn (Longford Slashers) for G Rogers (two minutes into stoppage time).
LEITRIM: Diarmuid McKiernan; Conor Reynolds, Fergal McTague, Paddy Maguire; Aidan Flynn, Donal Wrynn (0-1, mark), Cillian McGloin; Shane Moran, Pierce Dolan; Domhnaill Flynn (0-1), Shane Quinn (0-1), Dean McGovern (0-2); Evan Sweeney (0-2), Darragh Rooney (1-2), Keith Beirne.
Subs:- Ryan O’Rourke for P Dolan (47 mins); Raymond Mulvey for S Moran (49 mins); Oisin McLoughlin for E Sweeney (63 mins); David Bruen for C McGloin (65 mins); Damien Moran for D Rooney (67 mins).
Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh).
Our coverage of Longford's Allianz National Football League campaign is brought to you in association with Supermac's Longford