Table-toppers Longford win five in-a-row

Longford registered their fifth league win in-a-row to consolidate their place at the top of the Division 3 table and are now virtually guaranteed promotion to Division 2.

With the advantage of the wind in the first-half at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, Glenn Ryan’s side built up a commanding 0-9 to 0-3 lead.

It took a fine reaction save from the alert Antrim keeper Chris Kerr to keep out a fisted goal attempt from Donal McElligott just before half-time but the visitors suffered a setback in the opening minute of the second half when they were reduced to 14 players after wing forward Michael Armstrong was sent-off for a second yellow card.

That left Antrim facing a real uphill battle, although they gradually closed the gap with four points on the trot — three from Thomas McCann (two frees) — to hold a glimmer of hope. But Longford regained their grip with a score apiece from Bernard McElvaney and Paul Barden.

Points were then exchanged between McCann (45) and McElvaney before Antrim got right back into contention with a goal from a penalty converted in some style by McCann to leave Longford hanging on to a slender 0-13 to 1-8 lead.

But the table toppers were in no mood to let victory slip from their grasp and finished the stronger with a brace of further points from impressive centre-half-forward Paul Barden who ended up with 0-5 to his credit — all from play.

Scorers for Longford: S McCormack (4fs), P Barden 0-5 each, B McElvaney 0-2, S Mulligan, N Mulligan, B Kavanagh 0-1 each.

Scorers for Antrim: T McCann 1-5 (1-0pen, 3fs, 1 45), P Cunningham 0-2fs, M Sweeney 0-1.

LONGFORD: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; CP Smyth, M Quinn, S Mulligan; B McElvaney, J Keegan; D Barden, P Barden, N Mulligan; D McElligott, B Kavanagh, S McCormack.

Subs: J McGivney for J Keegan (53), JJ Matthews for N Mulligan (66).

ANTRIM: C Kerr; K O’Boyle, R Johnstone, M Johnstone; T Scullion, J Crozier, P McBride; M McCann, A Gallagher; T McCann, C Kelly, M Armstrong; C Murray, M Sweeney, P Cunningham.

Subs: J Loughrey for McBride (ht), S McDonagh for Murray (48), M Magill for Cunningham (48), B Neeson for Kelly (61).

Referee: P Kneel (Louth).


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