Leitrim's Aaron Hoare is tackled by Longford's James Clancy last Saturday. Photo by Declan Gilmore
Leitrim's search for a first win in the Connacht Minor League continues as Longford over-powered them in the second half last Saturday in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.
LEITRIM 2-7 LONGFORD 2-13
Leitrim led at the break by two points but had played with the advantage of a strong wind in the first half and on the changeover it was Longford who were in control, eventually emerging victorious but not without a scare in the second half.
A brilliant individual goal from Melvin Gaels’ Cillian McGloin and a point from James Glancy actually had Leitrim in front during the second half but Longford hit back with an unanswered 1-5 to seal the victory, their first of the League.
Longford got off to a bright start with a Mel Brady point as well as a Gerard Flynn goal in the early stages in the game but the home team struggled for scores after that against a strong wind, hitting just one more point in the first half through a Dylan Farrell free.
Leitrim gradually got on top and their first goal materialised in the 26th minute.
The tactic of playing the continuous direct high ball into the Longford goalmouth finally paid off as Riordan O'Rourke won the breaking ball and finished to the net past keeper Jack Fox.
Leitrim hit the front for the first time with the goal and extended the advantage after another O'Rourke score which left the Green & Gold holding a slender 1-4 to 1-2 halftime lead but it was clearly evident that they were facing a very difficult task against the wind in the second half.
Wind assisted Longford began to play with confidence on the changeover and after 10 minutes had regained the lead. Ciaran Reilly kicked three of the four points with Dylan Farrell firing over a free.
A point from Shane Farrell and a well-taken ‘45 from midfielder Patrick Molloy stretched the lead for the home county but an outstanding goal created and finished by Cillian McGloin brought Leitrim right back into contention.
And then Leitrim took the lead when Dromahair's James Clancy added a point to put the visitors ahead.
Longford then stepped up another gear to register 1-5 without reply with three of the points coming from Dylan Farrell as well as a cracking goal from Kyle Kenny that sealed a comfortable victory in the finish.
Longford play Mayo next weekend in Ballaghaderreen in their final competitive game before the Leinster Championship first round tie against Wicklow at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday April 22, while Leitrim will be in action in Cootehall against Roscommon searching for their first win in the Connacht League this season.
LONGFORD: Jack Fox; Eamon Keogh, Ciaran McKeon, Kian Gilmore; Shane Farrell (0-1), PJ Masterson, Dylan Corcoran; Patrick Molloy (0-1, ‘45), Ciaran Reilly (0-4); Niall Farrelly, Joseph Hagan, Gerard Flynn (1-0); Mel Brady (0-1), Dylan Farrell (0-5, two frees), Kyle Kenny (1-0). Subs: Gavin Hughes for Gilmore (28); Paddy Duggan (0-1) for Corcoran (43); Aidan McGuire for Brady (48); Dylan McCabe for Reilly (58).
LEITRIM: Eoin Gallagher; Conor Dwyer, Ciaran Kenny, Evan Harkin; Sean Harkin, Shaun Chandler, Peter Prior; Ruairi Sheridan, Aaron Hoare; Ciaran Cullen (0-1), James Clancy (0-1), Cillian McGloin (1-1); Riordan O''Rourke (1-3, 2f), Caleb Duffy (0-1), Colm Kiernan. Sub: Caillin McLoughlin for Cullen (42).
Referee: Paul Lydon (Mayo).