Roscommon 1-08 v Longford 2-11
Longford senior footballers claimed the Allianz National Football League Division Four title,with an impressive six point win over Roscommon at Croke Park on Saturday evening.
The Leinster side, managed by former Kildare star, Glen Ryan, were by far the better team in the opening twenty minutes of the second half and built a platform that was to ultimately land them the honours. The game was slow to spring to life and both counties were edgy in the opening minutes. Donal Ward eventually broke the deadlock when he fired Roscommon in front. However, Longford hit back soon after with Martin Brady scoring their opening goal. Despite that score,the game failed to ignite and it continued to be played at a slow pace.
Senan Kilbride then found the net for a much needed Rossies goal. It should have been the lift the side needed but they were unable to capitalise. McBride had to be taken off injured soon after, being replaced by Ger Henihan. Paul Bardon gave Longford back the lead when he hit their second goal of the half soon after. It took his tally in the league to 7-17,impressive by any standards. Kevin Higgins and Niall Carty then pointed to level the game and Roscommon looked to be getting on top.However,two late points from Sean McCormack left Longford leading by two at the break.
Brian Kavanagh increased the Longford lead just after the restart and that was quickly added to by McCormack. Paul Bardon then got his name on the scoresheet again to make it double scores. McCormack and Brian Kavanagh added points to leave eight between the teams. Another from Bardon made it nine and Longford looked to have the game in the bag. However, a foul on Cathal Craig gave Roscommon a lifeline as they were awarded a penalty. When Damien Sheridan saved Karl Mannion’s penalty,the game was effectively over. Cathal Craig pointed for Roscommon but man of the match, McCormack replied for Longford. Roscommon then took off Donie Shine,as they had one eye on next weekend’s clash with New York.
Roscommon were the fitter side in the closing minutes and Cathal Craig(3) and Conor Devaney reduced the Longford lead as the clock wore on. Craig was by far the best Rossies player on the day and did his best for the full 70 minutes. He was unfortunate to end up on the losing side. A late Longford point from McElvaney left it a six point game once more and that was how it ended on the day.