Longford manager Padraic Davis very happy with improvement shown against Fermanagh

NFL Division 3 relegation play-off at home to Tipperary on Sunday June 13

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Longford manager Padraic Davis speaking to his players and backroom team following the draw against Fermanagh Photo: Syl Healy

All Padraic Davis had hoped for from his side on Saturday last against Fermanagh was a performance. 

After a heavy defeat in their opening game in Division 3 North of the National League against Derry, Longford battled well against Cavan and at Brewster Park the players put in a very much improved performance against the Erne County.

 Davis said: “At the end of the day all we are looking for is an improvement. I’ve made it quite clear that we absolutely broke no rules. We didn’t train, we didn’t go collectively, we did absolutely nothing. We had three and a half weeks going into the Derry game. 

“I can only talk about ourselves. We go to Cavan and there is no question that there was an improvement. Cavan are Ulster Champions and we had an improvement. I questioned was that type of performance in us today? I couldn’t be much happier to be quite honest.”

 What pleased Davis the most was the score total that Longford clocked up. Although they did kick a number of wides they did shoot some very good points. 

 “To come here against a team that traditionally go with a blanket defence and to score 18 points. To battle in the end with 14 men, and for some of those players to literally empty themselves out on the pitch. I really can’t ask for anything more.”

 It has been a tough few weeks for Longford. As Davis alluded to, they didn’t have too much time to prepare for their opening game of the season and found the going tough against a physically stronger and better conditioned Derry. 

 “The regionalised league was tough on us. Taking on Fermanagh was about a performance and showing us that they were prepared to give everything; every last ounce that was in their body.

“ We are never happy in defeat and sometimes reasonably happy with the draw. Of all my years in football, today is one of the happiest days I’ve been with a draw.”

 As well as the starting 15 putting in a fine display, the bench made an impact too with substitutes Joseph Hagan and Darragh Doherty both getting on the scoresheet. Davis was delighted with the whole team’s performance.

 “I’m very happy with the lads, some of them have put in extraordinary shifts. We also can’t underestimate the impact that our bench made. We have to give them credit. All four subs contributed. That will bring them on in leaps and bounds.”

 The only downside to the draw was the Gary Rogers sending off and the injury to Robbie Smyh (hamstring). Davis admitted that Smyth could miss the relegation play-off against Tipperary as well as Rogers (suspended).

 “On the sending off, no one complained about the red card and Gary accepted it. Robbie was going well and got some very good scores. It’s unfortunate that it looks like we will have neither of them for the Tipperary game. 

“They’re probably going to look at targeting the Leinster championship game against Carlow  in Tullamore on the 27th of June. But let’s see what happens,” stated the Longford manager.

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