Longford Slashers midfielder Daire O'Brien on the ball in breaking away from Fr Manning Gaels opponent Sean Whelan. Action from the SFC Round 1 game at Allen Park. Picture: Declan Gilmore
Last year’s beaten finalists Longford Slashers cruised to a very easy win over a much understrength Fr Manning Gaels outfit in the Senior Football Championship first round game played in glorious weather conditions at Allen Park on Saturday evening.
Longford Slashers . . . 2-16 Fr Manning Gaels . . . 0-8
Slashers, inspired by outstanding midfielder Daire O’Brien, were dominant for most of the match but were guilty of squandering several chances and will need to improve greatly on their finishing when they meet one of the stronger teams in the battle for the Connolly Cup.
The Gaels were missing six of the side that started in last year’s Intermediate final against Ballymahon, most notably the injured trio of Pauric Gill, Darren Farrelly and Dean Cosgrove, but stuck with Slashers until a goal from a penalty converted by Andrew Kelly in the 27th minute ended the game as a contest.
The Drumlish/Ballinamuck side trailed by 1-9 to 0-4 at the break and things did not get any better in the second half as Slashers added another 1-7 to their tally with Gerard Flynn scoring the second goal with virtually the last kick of the game.
LONGFORD SLASHERS: Colm Farrell (0-1, free); Ronan Kenny, Ronan Sheahan, Paddy Duggan; Dermot Brady, Gerard Flynn (1-1), Sean Clarke (0-1); Daire O’Brien, Barry Gilleran (0-1); Ruairi Clarke (0-3), Peter Lynn, Andrew Kelly (1-2, goal from penalty, one point from free); Conor Clarke, Andrew Dalton (0-2, one mark), Darragh O’Connell (0-3).
Subs:- Robbie O’Connell (0-1) for P Lynn (41 mins); Robbie Clarke (0-1) for Ruairi Clarke (47 mins); Tadhg McNevin for C Clarke (53 mins).
FR MANNING GAELS: Aidan Grey; JP Farrelly, Emmet Noonan, Derek McCormack; Mark Hughes, Eoin Keane (0-1), Nigel Kiernan; Paddy Collum (0-1, free), Liam Lynch; Cian Cassidy (0-2), Sean Whelan, Martin Cassidy (0-2, frees); Conor Keenan, Anthony Keane (0-2), Podge Gill.
Subs:- Mark Duffy for P Gill (half-time); James Noonan for N Kiernan (half-time); Cian Brady for D McCormack (injured, 32 mins); Ryan Crowe for C Cassidy (injured, 45 mins); Stephen Cosgrove for E Keane (59 mins).
Referee: David Tiernan (Ardagh Moydow).