Westmeath struggle to victory

Westmeath 2-10 Longford 1-10

Westmeath 2-10 Longford 1-10

Westmeath made a hard slog of it as they opened their Leinster SFC campaign with a poor three-point win over Division 3 side Longford today.

Tomas O'Flatharta's men, the recently crowned NFL Division 2 champions, were looking for strong performance but despite dominating possession at Pearse Park, they could not shake Longford off their tails.

Goals from Alan Mangan, whose penalty trickled home after a half-block from Damien Sheridan, and Denis Glennon had the visitors 2-4 to 0-5 ahead at half-time.

Glennon was particularly lively in the first half, being fouled for the penalty and dancing along the end-line, he sent a cheeky shot past Sheridan and in off the post for his 31st-minute goal.

Westmeath captain Gary Connaughton denied Brian Kavanagh a goal towards the end of the half but a Paul Barden goal, with five minutes left, set up a furious finish.

However, Westmeath had enough in the tank to see out the win with Fergal Wilson's late point sending them through to a June 7 quarter-final against Offaly.

Scorers: Westmeath: A Mangan (1-0 pen), D Glennon 1-1 each, F Wilson (0-3f), M Flanagan (0-2f) 0-3 each, D Dolan 0-2 (0-2f)

Longford: P Barden 1-1, J Martin 0-3 (0-2f), B Kavanagh (0-1 sl), F McGee (0-2) 0-2 each, K Mulligan, D Masterson 0-1 each

WESTMEATH: G Connaughton; F Boyle, K Gavin, J Keane; M Ennis, D Heavin, D Healy; D O'Donoghue, M Flanagan; F Wilson, J Smyth, D Harte; A Mangan, D Glennon, D Dolan.

Subs used: D Duffy for Harte (54 mins)

LONGFORD: D Sheridan; N Farrell, A O'Connor, D Masterson, DG Reilly, E Williams, P Kelly, L Keenan, P Dowd, K Mulligan, P Barden, P Berry, J Martin, B Kavanagh, F McGee.

Subs used: D Barden for McGee (half-time), S Mulligan for Berry (49 mins), P Foy for K Mulligan (57), D Brady for O'Connor, C Casey for Kelly (both 64).

Referee: Michael Hughes (Tyrone).

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