By Deniese O’Flaherty
A fine second half display saw Longford record their second league win in a row and in doing so inflict a first league defeat on Tipperary who ended the game with 14 men.
With two games to go in Division 3 things are certainly getting tight after this round of fixtures. Longford’s win coupled with results elsewhere see them join Tipperary, Offaly and Clare on 6pts in the table just two behind leaders Kildare.
The home side were full value for their win and it was a good display with fine individual performances from James McGivney, Darren Gallagher and Brian Kavanagh; the Kilmacud Crokes clubman finished the game with eight points. For Tipp Michael Quinlivan and Conor Sweeney were real threats. Though Sweeney’s participation in the game ended in the 44th minute when he was shown a black card for a challenge on Longford defender Dermot Brady.
In a tight opening half the sides were level six times. Tipp were dangerous on the attack and in the 13th minute Donagh Leahy was through on goal but Darren Gallagher excellently blocked his shot. After levelling the game in the 26th minute Longford hit a purple patch and despite Sweeney firing over a free in the 35th minute the home side were in front by three going in at the break; 0-10 to 0-07
Tipp were a lot brighter in the early exchanges of the second half and scored 1-01 in the space of two minutes; Jason Lonergan with the goal. Longford replied but Sweeney put his side ahead again in the 40th minute. Four minutes later and Tipp were dealt a blow when Sweeney received a black card. The lead changed again in the 53rd minute when two frees from the boot of Kavanagh put Longford back in front.
Both sides then had goal chances with Quinlivan coming close for Tipp in the 55th minute while down the other end Liam Connerton fisted his effort against the crossbar. Longford were just two ahead when Tipp defender Shane Leahy was shown a red card for a second bookable offence.
Minutes later Longford’s Michael Quinn got a black card minutes but it mattered little as Denis Connerton’s men wrapped up the win in stoppage time with a goal from substitute Larry Moran.
Scorers: Longford- B Kavanagh 0-8 (5f), J McGivney 0-5, L Moran 1-0, D Gallagher, B McKeon, L Connerton, M Hughes 0-1 each. Tipperary- C Sweeney 0-6 (3f), M Quinlivan 0-4, (2f), J Longeran 1-1.
Longford: P Collum; CP Smyth, B Gilleran, D Masterson; D Brady, D McElligott, D Reynolds (F Battrim 67); D Gallagher, M Quinn (bc S Kenny 69); J McGivney, B Kavanagh, B McKeon; R Smyth (B Farrell 67), L Connerton (R Connor 69), M Hughes (L Moran 65).
Tipperary: C Kendrick; D Leahy (C O’Shaughnessy 31), A Campbell, C McDonald; J Feehan (K Fahey 50), R Kiely, S Leahy; A Moloney, M Dunne; J Keane (I Fahey ht), P Acheson, J Lonergan (B Hewitt 63); C Sweeney (bc L Casey 45), M Quinlivan, P Austin.
Referee: S McLaughlin (Donegal)