By Deniese O’Flaherty
An excellent goal from substitute Darren Gallagher set Longford on their way to victory in Sligo as they came from three points down to claim the win by five points.
Sligo had started the better and after Longford had drawn for the first time in the game the Yeats County replied with a goal from Brian Egan. Points were traded between Brian Kavanagh (free) and Cian Breheny before the impressive Gallagher drew Longford level again in the 25th minute with a goal. That score buoyed Longford on and they kicked on for there.
Egan had got Sligo’s first goal in the fifth minute. They went three ahead in the 11th minute but points from Gallagher, Mark Hughes and Robbie Smyth drew Longford level in the 17th minute.
One minute later Sligo restored their three point advantage when Egan found the net for a second time after Diarmuid Masterson had cleared a shot off the line.
Kavanagh hit over a free but there was three again between the sides in the 23rd minute. In the 25th minute a nice Longford move saw Michael Quinn pass to Gallagher and he made no mistake with a powerful shot to the net to level the game for Longford.
Another Kavanagh free put Longford ahead for the first time in the game. A lovely Gallagher point and a free from Kavanagh gave Denis Connerton’s side a three point lead going in at the break; 1-10 to 2-04.
Longford completely dominated the early stages of the second half. Frees from Kavanagh and Smyth were followed by a ’45 from Michael Quinn and good points from Barry McKeon and Gallagher to give Longford an eight point lead in the 50th minute.
After being out of the game Sligo got their first score in 28minutes when Niall Murphy hit over his third point. Sligo followed that with three more points to cut the deficit to four points in the 56th minute.
Smyth replied with a pointed free for Longford but substitute David Rooney brought Sligo back to four again in the 61st minute.
Longford were reduced to 13 men in the space of one minute when both Kavanagh and Brian Farrell were sent off for receiving two yellow cards.
Three minutes from the end Smyth got his fourth point of the game when he fired over his third free as Longford secured their second win of the league campaign.
Longford: Paddy Collum; Dermot Brady, Barry Gilleran, Paul McGee; Donie McElligott, Diarmuid Masterson, Dessie Reynolds; Michael Brady, Michael Quinn (0-1,’45); James McGivney (0-1), Barry McKeon (0-2), Robbie Smyth (0-4,3f), Brian Kavanagh (0-4,4f), Mark Hughes (0-2).
Subs: Colm P. Smyth for P McGee inj (8), Darren Gallagher (1-3) for M Brady inj (14), Brian Farrell for L Connerton (43), Francie McGee for B McKeon (52), Rory Connor for D Reynolds (62), Paul McKeon for M Hughes (68).
Sligo: Aidan Devaney; Daniel Maye, Kevin McDonnell, Eoin Flanagan; Keelan Cawley, Brendan Egan, Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch; Eoin McHugh, Niall Murphy (0-4,1f); Neil Ewing, Mark Breheny (0-1,1f), Noel Gaughan; Cian Breheny, Pat Hughes (0-2), Brian Egan (2-0).
Subs: Charlie Harrison for E Flanagan (14), Criostóir Davey for N Gaughan (34), Adrian McIntyre for E McHugh (42), David Rooney (0-1) for G O’Kelly-Lynch (52)
Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)