Longford put in a solid display as they started their Division 3 campaign with a three point win over Louth at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.
It was a deserved win for Padraic Davis’ side who should’ve won by more; they created two goal chances in the first half and also kicked seven wides in that half. Darren Gallagher once again was excellent on placed balls for Longford.
Davis said: “Coming into this game, in the month of January, if you asked if we’d get to 16 points, would you be happy with it. I’d be very happy with it. Then you look at what it could have been. I think we are going to Offaly in a far better position mentally as a group. It’s one we look forward to.”
A pointed free from Darren Gallagher opened the scoring for Longford. They were ahead by two in the 11th minute but a good Ryan Burns point cut the gap to one in the 12th minute.
Longford replied with three points in a row before Rian Brady brought a fine save out of Louth keeper Craig Lynch with Gallagher hitting over the resulting ’45. Lynch denied Iarla O’Sullivan minutes later
A goal in the 25th minute from Gerry Garland brought Louth back into the game as they trailed by three at the break: 0-9 to 1-03.
Louth did enjoy a purple patch in the second half but Longford defended resolutely and prevented the Wee County from getting scores. Points from Brady and Gallagher (free) gave Longford a five-point lead in the 48th minute.
Louth though replied with points from Oisin Murray and Tommy Durnin to bring it back to a three-point game. Try as they might they couldn’t eat further into Longford’s lead. Louth’s Eoghan Callaghan was sent off in the 67th for a second yellow card while Longford’s Michael Quinn received a second yellow in stoppage time as Longford held on for the win.
The Longford boss was happy with the manner of his side’s win: “Coming off the back of an O’Byrne Cup, which is a very quiet time of year with exposure and media, and there was so much about it so that would’ve been used in the Louth dressing room today. But our lads deserve great credit for backing up that win and getting two points on the board.”
Scorers: Longford: D Gallagher 0-5 (3fs, 2’45), R Brady 0-4 (2fs), D Doherty 0-2, I O’Sullivan, CP Smyth, K Diffley (m), M Quinn, D Reynolds 0-1 each.
Louth: R Burns 0-5 (4fs), G Garland 1-0, T Durnin 0-2 (1f), D Byrne (m), O Murray, P Matthews 0-1 each
Longford: P Collum; P Fox, A Farrell, B O’Farrell; I O’Sullivan (P Lynn 67), G Rogers, C.P. Smyth; D Gallagher, K Diffley; M Quinn, D Mimnagh, D Reynolds; R Brady, J Hagan (D Doherty ht), O Kenny (L Connerton 61).
Louth: C Lynch; D Corcoran, D Campbell, A Mooney; L Jackson, E Carolan, E Callaghan; J Califf (B Duffy 54), T Durnin; G Garland (E Duffy 43), C Downey, C McKeever (O Murray 20); S Mulroy (C Grimes 54), D Byrne (P Matthews 61), R Burns.
Referee: M McNally (Monaghan)