Longford's Padraig McCormack in action against Offaly's William Mulhall in tonight's Bord na Móna O'Byrne Cup match in Newtowncashel. Photo by Declan Gilmore
Second half goals from Liam Connerton and Darren Gallagher helped Longford record a comfortable eight point victory, 2-11 to 0-9, over Offaly in this Round 2 Bord na Móna O’Byrne Cup clash in Newtowncashel this evening.
Denis Connerton’s side trailed by 0-1 to 0-5 after 24 minutes but they managed to stabilise matters considerably with points from goalkeeper Paddy Collum (‘45), Shane Kenny and sub Dermot Brady which left them adrift by the minimum at half time.
2016 O’Byrne Cup runners-up Longford, who lost to Kildare, 0-12 to 1-15, four days earlier in Newbridge, levelled matters within two minutes of the resumption through Sean McCormack and seconds later Liam Connerton put them ahead, 1-5 to 0-5, with a well taken goal after receiving a pass from Dessie Reynolds.
Pat Flanagan’s experimental Offaly outfit found themselves 1-10 to 0-6 behind as Longford slotted over some excellent points courtesy of Darren Gallagher (2), Sean McCormack, Padraig McCormack and James McGivney.
Sean McCormack registered Longford’s 11th point before the very influential Gallagher completed the rout and netted their second goal in the 61st minute with the simplest of tap-ins, 2-11 to 0-7.
Offaly, who crushed Carlow IT in Rd 1 by 5-18 to 0-4, got consolation scores through Sean Doyle and William Mulhall, while Longford defender Paul McGee was sent off in stoppage time for a second yellow card.
Pictured: Longford's Dermot Brady is chased by Offaly's Diarmuid Carroll in tonight's Bord na Móna O'Byrne Cup match in Newtowncashel. Photo by Declan Gilmore
Longford and Offaly will collide again in three weeks time, on Sunday, February 5, in the opening round of the 2017 Allianz National Football League Division 3 at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park and expect that to be a far more competitive affair.
Longford’s third and final game in Group 2 of the O’Byrne Cup is against Carlow IT who were trounced tonight, 0-1 to 4-24, by Kildare. That game takes place this Sunday, January 15 at 2pm in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.
While the Lilywhites, who look odds on to advance to the semi-final, conclude the group series with a tie against Offaly in O'Connor Park, Tullamore.
Kildare boast a 100% record after two games and they also have a plus score difference of 41 points - For 5-39 (54) to Against 1-10 (13).
Offaly and Longford rest in 2nd and 3rd place in the group with a score difference of (+21) and (+2), respectively.
LONGFORD: Paddy Collum (Fr Manning Gaels, 0-1, ‘45); Paul McGee (Dromard), Andrew Farrell (Cashel), Barry Gilleran (Longford Slashers); Cian Farrelly (Killoe Emmet Og), Padraig McCormack (Killoe Emmet Og, 0-1), Barry O’Farrell (Carrickedmond); Shane Kenny (Rathcline, 0-1), Darren Gallagher (St Mary’s, Granard, 1-2); Dessie Reynolds (Sean Connolly’s), Liam Connerton (Rathcline, 1-0), James McGivney (St Columba’s Mullinalaghta, 0-1); Robbie Smyth (Abbeylara), Sean McCormack (Killoe Emmet Og 0-4,2f), Mark Hughes (Killoe Emmet Og).
Subs: Dermot Brady (Longford Slashers, 0-1), John Keegan (St Columba’s Mullinalaghta), Diarmuid Masterson (Dromard), Barry McKeon (Colmcille), Paddy Kiernan (Emmet Og), Brian Farrell (Mostrim), Gary Rogers (St Columba’s Mullinalaghta), Paddy Farrell (Carrickedmond), Ronan McEntire (Dromard), Donie McElligott (St Columba’s Mullinalaghta)
OFFALY: Conor Clancy; Jack Egan, Clint Horan, David Brady; Lee Colgan (0-1), Joseph O’Connor, Diarmuid Carroll; Peter Cunningham, David Dempsey; Karl Dunne, Shane Nally, Cian Donoghue (0-1); Ruairi McNamee, William Mulhall (0-4,1f), Sean Doyle (0-3,3f).
Subs: Jordan Hynes, Michael Brazil, Nigel Dunne, PJ Daly.
REFEREE: Seamus Mulhare (Laois).