Kelly goal paves way for Longford triumph

Paul Kelly’s cracking 27th minute goal proved the foundation for Longford’s impressive victory against a poor Offaly side in this Allianz Football League Division 3 opening round tie at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park yesterday.

Kelly’s strike left a sharper Longford side leading 1-6 to 0-6 at the break and while Offaly made a bright start to the second half with a great score from Bernard Allen, the hosts stepped up a gear to clock up six points without reply after a tremendous strike from Paul Barden began the purple patch in the 42nd minute.

Offaly sub Willie Mulhall pulled a point back in the 58th minute but the confident Longford side regained the upper hand with three more converted frees from McCormack before Glenn Ryan’s side grabbed a second goal with time running out.

Substitute Niall Mulligan shot to the back of the net after receiving the perfect pass from another replacement Donal McElligott to leave 13 points between them and boost Longford’s scoring difference.

LONGFORD: D Sheridan; P Foy, B Gilleran, D Reilly; S Mulligan, M Quinn, C P Smyth; B McElvaney (0-1), J Keegan; D Barden, P Barden (0-2), P Kelly (1-1); R Smyth (0-1), S McCormack (0-10, 9f), JJ Matthews.

Subs: D Brady for P Foy (ht); D McElligott for R Smyth (56); N Mulligan (1-0) for P Kelly (inj, 61); J McGivney for JJ Matthews (63); N Farrell for S Mulligan (69).

OFFALY: K Meehan; J Gallagher, P McConway, S Pender; B Darby, S Sullivan, L Hiney; B Hanamy, N Smith; A Keenaghan, D Currams, A Sullivan; B Allen (0-2, 1f), A Mulhall (0-4, 3f), N Dunne (0-1).

Subs: G Guilfoyle for A Keenaghan (ht); D Kelly for S Sullivan (46); W Mulhall (0-1) for D Currams (55); K Casey for N Dunne (55); S Guing for N Smith (69).

Referee: J Curley (Meath).

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