AFL News: Longford claim full points v Antrim

Longford 0-14 Antrim 0-13

A free from the boot of Brian Kavanagh in the final minute of the game helped Longford to a narrow win over Antrim in their Division 4 clash played in very foggy conditions at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.

There were doubts that the game would be called off as fog fell in the Midlands venue but referee Shane Hehir decided to go ahead with it. Longford were the better team throughout but missed a lot. Antrim had a chance to grab a dramatic draw in additional time but CJ McGourty’s free from a tight angle drifted wide.

It wasn’t pretty but a win is a win and it was only Longford’s second league win at home in three campaigns. Antrim got the game’s first point but Longford got into their stride and opened up a four point lead in the eighth minute with frees from Paul McKeon and Brian Kavanagh and points from play from Barry McKeon, Sean McCormack and Ronan McEntire. They were unlucky not to grab a goal in the sixth minute but Barry McKeon’s powerful shot clipped the crossbar and went over for a point.

Antrim came storming back into the game and points from McGourty (free) Michael Pollock and two from Ryan Murray levelled matters in the 15th minute. Another McKeon (free) and Barry Gilleran put Longford in front by two in the 20th minute but Murray and McGourty replied for Antrim. There were two between them again in the 29th minute but right on the stroke of half-time Antrim wing-back Declan Lynch cut the gap to one.

Just like the first half Longford started the second well. Twice in the early stages of the half they were three up but Antrim fought back once again and came to within one of Longford in the 57th minute. Kavanagh hit over his third free in the 63rd minute but the Saffrons made for a nervy end when a Pollock free made it a one point game in the 65th minute. Pollock pointed another free in the 69th minute to draw Antrim level but there was time for drama.

In the final minute Francie McGee was fouled and Kavanagh duly obliged with the free to edge Longford in front. Right at the end Antrim had a chance to claim a point when Tony Scullion was fouled but McGourty was unlucky with his free and Longford held on for a win.

Longford: P Collum; D Brady, B O’Farrell, P Foy; T Gallagher, D Masterson, C Farrelly; B McKeon (0-2), B Gilleran (0-1); F McGee (0-2), P McKeon (0-3, 3 f), R McEntire (0-1); R McNerney, B Kavanagh (0-4, 4 f), S McCormack (0-1). Subs: A Rowan for Gallagher (52), P Gill for B McKeon (59), M Quinn for P McKeon (61), M Hughes for McCormack (67)

Antrim: C Kerr; J Laverty, C Burke, T Scullion; D Lynch (0-1), T Crozier, J Carron; M McCann, S McVeigh; C Murray (0-1), CJ McGourty (0-5, 2 f), R Murray (0-3); T McCann, O Gallagher, M Pollock (0-3, 2 f). Subs: P McBride for T McCann (44), M Fitzpatrick for Gallagher (45), B Hasson for McVeigh (55), M Kane for Carron (60)

Referee: Shane Hehir (Galway)