Longford subs provide winning sparkle in vital opening round Allianz NFL victory over 13-man Louth

Allianz National Football League Division 3; Round 1: Louth 0-9 Longford 1-8

Deniese O'Flaherty

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Deniese O'Flaherty

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newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Longford subs provide winning sparkle in vital opening round Allianz NFL victory over 13-man Louth

Longford's Barry O'Farrell pictured in action against Louth in the recent O'Byrne Cup game at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park. Photo: Declan Gilmore

Three points from three substitutes, Darragh Doherty, Joe Hagan and Nigel Rabbitt, earned Longford two valuable points in their opening Allianz National Football League Division 3 game away to Louth in Drogheda this afternoon.

Allianz National Football League Division 3; Round 1: Louth 0-9 Longford 1-8

When Ryan Burns pointed a free in the 69th minute, making it 0-9 to 1-6, momentum was with the Wee County however Longford battled hard during injury time and excellent points from Joe Hagan and Nigel Rabbitt sealed a hard fought win for Padraic Davis’ side.

Louth ended the game with 13 men after Tommy Durnin and Conor Early received red cards. Longford’s Peter Lynn and Shane Donohoe both spent 10 minutes each in the sin bin after receiving black cards

Louth had started well and hit over two early points. After a narrow miss from Pauric Gill in the ninth minute when he dragged his low shot wide Longford finally got off the mark in the 14th minute. A high ball in from Peter Lynn was fisted to the net by Robbie Smyth, 0-2 to 1-0.

Smyth followed up with a point from a mark and a pointed free. Louth got a much needed point from Tadgh McEneaney, 0-3 to 1-2. They were reduced to fourteen players in 26th minute when Conor Early received a yellow (he had been black carded earlier).

In first half stoppage time Darren Gallagher hit over a point to give his side a three point lead at the break, 0-3 to 1-3.

Louth upped their performance in the second half and were level on three occasions. Robbie Smyth’s 41st minute point made it 0-5 to 1-4, but within five minutes, Louth were level.

A beautifully struck '45 from Darren Gallagher regained the lead for Longford, 0-7 to 1-5, with 53 minutes elapsed.

Louth were reduced to 13 players a minute later as Tommy Durnin was sent off for a second yellow card. Louth gained parity once again, before Joe Hagan edged Longford in front, 0-8 to 1-6 in the 64th minute.

Ryan Burns (free) equalised for the hosts but Longford showed great resolve to pull away in stoppage time and claim the win with points from Darragh Doherty and Nigel Rabbitt.

Next up for Longford is a home tie against Offaly, who lost by 0-12 to 0-13 against Westmeath today, on Sunday, February 3 in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.

LONGFORD: Paddy Collum; Darren Quinn, Andrew Farrell, Barry O’Farrell; Colm P Smyth, Barry McKeon, Daniel Mimnagh; Darren Gallagher (0-2, 1’45 ), Michael Quinn; Peter Lynn, Shane Donohoe, Pauric Gill; Robbie Smyth (1-3, 1f), Liam Connerton, Cillian Lee.

Subs: Darragh Doherty (0-1) or C Lee (48 mins), Joe Hagan (0-1) for P Lynn (56 mins), Nigel Rabbitt (0-1) for S Donohoe (60 mins)

LOUTH: Fergal Skeeky; Hugh Osbourne, Darren Marks, Dan Corcoran; Anthony Williams, Bevan Duffy, John Clutterbuck; Tommy Durnin (0-1), Conor Early; Ruairi Moore, Ciaran Downey (0-1), Conal McKeever (0-1); Andy McDonnell, Tadhg McEneaney (0-1), Ryan Burns (0-4, 3f)

Subs: Fergal Donohue for D Marks (13 mins), Sam Mulroy (0-1) for T McEneaney (half-time), Conor Brannigan for R Moore (41 mins), Eoghan Duffy for C Downey (56 mins), Eoghan Callaghan for C McKeever (68 mins)

Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)