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Louth 1-14 Longford 1-08

Updated: Sunday, 07 Apr 2013 17:31 | Comments

Shane Lennon (pictured) and Brian White did much of the damage for Louth
Shane Lennon (pictured) and Brian White did much of the damage for Louth

Louth guaranteed their place in Division 2 for a second year with a facile 1-14 to 1-08 victory over already relegated Longford in Drogheda.

A sequence of eight scores without reply early in the second half handed the win to the Wee County.

Sean McCormack was effective for Longford in the opening half claiming 1-04, but Shane Lennon and Brian White did most of the damage for Louth who swiftly erased their 1-06 to 1-04 half-time deficit.

A pair of bookings for Louth were the only moments of note in a lacklustre opening five minutes.

Neither side appeared intent on staking a claim until the ninth minute when Longford half-back Michael Quinn swept over the game's opening score.

The home side retaliated moments later when Brian White converted the first of his frees. He followed it up with another free to give Louth a one-point advantage.

White could have made it a hat-trick of frees in the 13th minute, however his effort fell short.

The influential Sean McCormack pushed Longford back into the lead with two scores in the 14th and 17th minutes. But a battling Shane Lennon managed to draw the Wee County level a minute later.

Longford were guilty of a series of poor wides in the first half, but Bernard McElvaney edged the visitors back into the lead with 20 minutes on the clock.

Conor McGuinness made way for Gerard Hoey due to injury as Louth looked to claw their way into the clash.

Lennon missed a clear goal chance 13 minutes from the break. The Wee County forward was one-on-one with Damien Sheridan, but he hammered his shot straight at the Longford net minder.

The importance of that miss was highlighted six minutes later when McCormack lashed the ball beyond Neil Gallagher in the Louth goal.

Nevertheless, the home side hit a rich vein of form closing in on half-time with Lennon making up for his earlier miss when he smashed the ball into the Longford net.

Another White free for the home side and a point from goal scorer McCormack left Longford leading by two points at half-time.

The second period was a one-sided affair as Aidan O'Rourke's charges struck back with eight scores. The best of those was a long range effort from Lennon.

Longford looked threatening with the aid of the breeze in the first half, but on the restart they were unable to stem the flow of Louth scores.

It took a full 20 minutes of the second period before McCormack got Longford's first point. But again Lennon replied quickly for the home side.

With the result looking beyond doubt both managers decided to introduce fresh legs. Darren Clarke came on at full-forward for Louth, while JJ Matthews entered the fray for the visitors.

Defender Barry Gilleran earned a straight red card late on for Longford, but the result was already assured by that stage.

White collected Louth's final point of the game, before substitute JJ Matthews finished Longford's Division 2 stay with a final point on the stroke of full-time.

LOUTH: Neil Gallagher; Padraig Rath, Dessie Finnegan, John O'Brien; Conor McGuinness, Derek Crilly (0-01), Adrian Reid (0-01); Ronan Carroll, Brian Donnelly; Andy McDonnell, Conor Rafferty, Brian White (0-06, 0-05f); Derek Maguire, Ciaran Byrne (0-01), Shane Lennon (1-04).

Subs used: Gerard Hoey for McGuinness (20 mins), Paddy Keenan (0-01) for Carroll, James Califf for Rafferty (both half-time), Darren Clarke for Maguire (61).

LONGFORD: Damien Sheridan; Dermot Brady, Barry Gilleran, Declan Reilly; Aidan Rowan, Michael Quinn (0-01), Shane Mulligan; John Keegan, Michael Brady; Bernard McElvaney (0-01), Donal McElligott, Colm P Smyth; Francis McGee, David Barden, Sean McCormack (1-05, 0-03f).

Subs used: Paul Kelly for McGee (24 mins), Padraig McCormack for Rowan (half-time), Kevin Diffley for Keegan (50), Shane Doyle for McElligott (59 mins), JJ Matthews (0-01) for Barden (65).

Referee: Damien Brazil (Offaly)

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