/ GAA

Longford 1-08 Westmeath 2-07

Updated: Sunday, 10 Feb 2013 19:29 | Comments

Dessie Dolan grabbed one of two Westmeath goals at Pearse Park
Dessie Dolan grabbed one of two Westmeath goals at Pearse Park

Westmeath grabbed two second-half goals to claim a 2-07 to 1-08 midlands derby win over Longford at Pearse Park.

Longford dominated vast chunks of the game, but were defeated as Kieran Martin and Dessie Dolan made crucial contributions.

Though Westmeath made a lively start they weren't clinical enough in front of the posts, kicking four wides in the opening seven minutes.

Longford eventually settled and two Seanie McCormack frees gave Glen Ryan's outfit an early advantage.

Westmeath, though, were running the ball impressively and forwards Callum McCormack, Denis Glennon, and Dessie Dolan offered glimpses of their ability.

Callum McCormack, Denis Cooroon, and John Heslin landed points for Westmeath, who led by 0-03 to 0-02 at the end of the first quarter.

It was tight and tense, with Robbie Smyth and McCormack trading points before Longford pounced for a brilliant 28th-minute goal.

Callum McCormack, such an opportunist inside, gathered a Donal McElligott pass and burst through a cluster of bodies to rifle home an unstoppable goal.

That was the most significant blow in the opening 35 minutes and it provided Longford with a real injection of confidence.

Two minutes later, Seanie McCormack clipped a routine free ensuring Longford went in at the break protecting a 1-04 to 0-04 lead.

Westmeath were reflecting on their missed chances at the outset as an improving Longford were particularly eager to glean a win following the loss to Wexford.

Longford survived a scare three minutes after the restart when John Heslin's delivery was flicked goalwards by Kieran Martin, but Barry Gilleran hacked it off the line.

But Westmeath were back on terms in the 44th minute when Ronan Foley made space for Martin, who lashed a delightful shot to the back of the Longford net.

By now the football was error-strewn, with the cold and wet conditions a factor as both teams struggled.

Seanie McCormack struck a free and then nailed an excellent effort from play as Longford edged two ahead, but Westmeath replied.

Punishing a defensive lapse in concentration, Callum McCormack fed Dolan, who smashed the ball past the advancing Damien Sheridan.

Heslin added two frees in quick succession and suddenly Westmeath had a 2-06 to 1-06 cushion with only 10 minutes remaining.

Longford's attacking hopes were pinned on Seanie McCormack, who obliged with another splendid point, but Westmeath continued to frustrate the locals.

In the last minute of normal time Seanie McCormack curled over a free to cut the deficit to the narrowest of margins, but Westmeath held on for a satisfying success.

Scorers:

Westmeath

J Heslin (0-4, 4fs), K Martin (1-0), D Dolan (1-0), C McCormack (0-2), D Cooroon (0-1),

Longford:

S McCormack (1-7, 5fs), R Smyth (0-1).

Westmeath: G Connaughton; K McGuire, K Gavin, M McCallon; M Curley, P Sharry, J Dolan; D Cooroon, J Heslin; K Martin, C McCormack, G Egan; R Foley, Dessie Dolan, D Glennon. Subs: P Bannon for Foley (55 mins), D Daly for Cooroon (58 mins), Damian Dolan for Martin (64 mins).

Longford: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, P Foy; K Diffley, M Quinn, S Mulligan; J Keegan, M Brady; B McElvanney, D McElligott, P McCormack; F McGee, R Smyth, S McCormack. Subs: P Kelly for P McCormack (58 mins).

Referee: D Gough (Meath).

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