Wicklow came from six points down to claim their first win of the league campaign but despite the victory they are all but relegated. The Garden County would need a huge victory against Louth next weekend and Longford to inflict a heavy defeat on Laois.
For Longford it comes down to the final game against manager Billy O'Loughlin’s native Laois and they’d need a much improved performance if they have any hope of retaining their Division 3 status.
Wicklow were full value for the win but the game could’ve gone differently for Longford if Oran Kenny had not been denied a goal by Wicklow keeper Mark Jackson at the start of the second half. Wicklow themselves missed scoring chances in the second half too.
A pointed free from the boot of Eoin Darcy opened the scoring before Longford hit a purple patch. A quick free from Dylan Farrell was played to Mark Hughes in the fifth minute he in turn found the impressive Jack Duggan, his initial shot was blocked but he finished the rebound to the net. Hughes and Darcy (free) traded points before Longford got a second goal in the 10th minute.
Darren Gallagher did well to rob possession, he played the ball to Iarla O’Sullivan who went on a fine run, he laid the ball off to Darragh Doherty and he fired to the net.
A fine Oran Kenny point extended Longford’s lead to six minutes later. Wicklow though hit back and cut the gap to three in the 16th minute. Darcy (free) kicked over his third point of the game between points from Doherty and Duggan.
The lead was just one point in the 33rd minute when Darcy, Kevin Quinn and Darragh Fitzgerald were all on target. Just before the break Kenny fired over his second point to leave Longford ahead by two at the interval - 2-05 to 0-09.
The second half was real tit for tat. The sides were level four times in the half as Wicklow fought hard for the win.
The visitors took the lead in the 58th minute; the first time they were ahead since the fourth minute; Kevin Quinn with the point. Dean Healy edged them in front by two in the 61st minute.
Duggan (free) and McGann drew Longford level in the 67th minute but that was the closest they got to Wicklow.
Sub Alan Dillon put Wicklow ahead by two in the 70th minute, Duggan cut the gap to one in stoppage time but the Garden County held on for the win.
Longford: P Collum; P Fox, A Farrell, B O’Farrell; J Moran, PJ Masterson, I O’Sullivan; R Moffett, D Gallagher (0-01,1f); E McCormack, D Doherty (1-01), O Kenny (0-02); D Farrell, M Hughes (0-01), J Duggan (1-05, 2f).
Subs: J Hagan (0-02) for D Farrell (27), K McGann (0-1) for Hughes (47), J Matthews for Doherty (56), J Shiels for Moffett (58), C Dooner for Kenny (63).
Wicklow: M Jackson (0-01,’45) ; P O’Keane (0-01), M Stones, N Devereux; T Stone, Z Cullen, F O’Shea (0-01); D Healy (0-03), P O’Toole (0-01); JP Hurley, E Darcy (0-07, 5f), D Fitzgerald (0-01); O’Cullen, M Kenny (0-2), K Quinn (0-02).
Subs: E Murtagh for Devereux (50), A Dillon (0-01) for Hurley (62), R Stokes for Cullen (65), A Murphy for Fitzgerald (70+1)
Referee: M Farrelly (Cavan)