Longford go top after Waterford win

Longford 1-12 Waterford 1-10

Longford had to survive a late Waterford rally to move level on points with Offaly at the top of the Division 4 table.

Jack Sheedy’s men were 10 points ahead and very much in control but following the dismissal of Waterford midfielder Shane Aherne in the 49th minute the Deise actually seized the initiative and outscored Longford 1-06 to just one point to leave for a nervy finish.

Longford had been reduced to 14 men in the 40th minute when Shane Doyle – who had received a yellow in the first half – was shown a black card and subsequently a red one. It was a game of two halves with Longford completely on top in the first. Francie McGee and Doyle got their opening points before Mark Ferncombe pointed for Waterford. A point from Paul McKeon and three from McGee (one free) put Longford ahead by five points in the 12th minute.

Barry McKeon’s free put them in front by six before Ferncombe got his and his side’s second point in the 20th minute. Longford then lost Peter Foy through a black card his second in two games.

Sean McCormack restored his side’s six point advantage in the 22nd minute and one minute later the lead was extended to nine points when Enda Williams found McGee and finished to the net. Barry McKeon followed up with a point to put Longford ahead by 10 points. Patrick Hurney got a third point for Waterford in the 30th minute. Points were exchanged between McCormack and Aherne (free) as Longford were ahead by nine at the break.

It was definitely a game of two halves though and after being outplayed in the first half Waterford capitalised on a lot of Longford’s mistakes in the second half. Longford’s Doyle was sent off in the 40th minute and one minute later Waterford went on the attack with Aherne’s effort being deflected out for a ’45. Barry McKeon put Longford in front again by 10 in the 41st minute but there was then a lull in the game before Aherne was dismissed. His side followed that up with four points in a row.

When Sean McCormack pointed to put Longford ahead by seven points it looked like they would kick on but they failed to. A goal from Mark Ferncombe left it a three point game with four to go and then full-forward Paul Whyte put two between them. Try as they might Waterford couldn’t add on any more scores as Longford held on for a valuable win.

Longford: Paddy Collum; Fergal Battrim, Barry O’Farrell, Peter Foy; Colm P Smyth, Diarmuid Masterson, Enda Williams; Barry Gilleran, Kevin Diffley; Shane Doyle (0-1), Paul McKeon (0-1), Ronan McEntire; Barry McKeon (0-3,1f), Sean McCormack (0-3), Francie McGee ( 1-4,1f). Subs: Aidan Rowan for Foy (bc 22), Michael Quinn for McEntire (44), Padraig Gill for B McKeon (62), Mark Hughes for McGee (66)

Waterford: Stephen Enright; L iam Lawlor, Ray O’Ceallaigh, Thomas O’Gorman; Tadhg Ó hUallacháin, Maurice O’Gorman, Conor Phelan; Shane Aherne (0-1,1f), Tommy Prendergast; Liam Ó Lonáin, Michael O’Halloran, Paddy Hurney (0-3); Mark Ferncombe (1-3), Paul Whyte (0-2,1f), J.J Hutchinson. Subs: Owen Keevers for Phelan (17), Shane Briggs for Ó hUallacháin (bc 32), Joey Veale (0-1) for Ó Lonáin (ht), Gavin Nugent for O’Halloran (39)

Referee: Shane Hehir (Galway)