Category: Archive

N.Y. GAA Longford footballers finally top Sligo

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Longford 4-11, Sligo 2-9

This tie was originally to be played a few weeks back when a freak thunderstorm called a halt to proceedings with only minutes left. Longford were ahead then, and they came into this tie determined to claim the victory that they believed was theirs. Spurred on in midfield by an on-form Kevin Lilly, Longford surged ahead thanks to an early goal from Jack Lynn, who took advantage of a Sligo defense in disarray. Lilly was missing from the lineup the last time the two sides met, when Sligo’s Enda Henry threatened to punish Longford enough to take the tie from under them. Both players performed today, however, and both were arguably the outstanding footballers on the pitch.

Longford’s lead was consolidated thanks to some fine shooting toward goal from Mike McKenna, Lilly and Brian O’Connor, all of whom registered points, the latter also striking a goal from the penalty spot. Sligo fought back mainly through Enda Henry’s points, and another penalty, this time given by referee Emmet McCormack to Sligo’s Declan O’Reilly to convert. Though Henry’s shooting was for the most part on target for Sligo, it was Longford who forced their way ahead, and Noel Lennon’s men found themselves in a comfortable position before the halftime break.

The second half opened at much the same pace, with Longford on the attack more often, though Enda Henry was still banging away in front of goal for the Sligo men. Lilly took control in center stage for Longford and began to register a number of points for his side, playing some intelligent moves with David Phalen and Jack Lynn, Lilly found his way past the Sligo backline to register more points and stem the threat of Sligo’s Henry.

Although Sligo fought back, with Declan O’Reilly hitting his and his side’s second goal of the afternoon, the tie never really slipped far from the reaches of Longford, and it always appeared that they would be the victors after all the football had been played. Phalen hit two second-half goals for Longford to give his team another victory on their course for Div. 2 glory this year, and in doing so really killed off the threat of Sligo. If Lilly can reproduce his current form in a couple of weeks versus Mayo, who knows what the outcome of New York’s clash will be?

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Longford: Noel Finn, Declan Humphreys, Tom Bermingham, Alan Bracken, Darren Talbot, Dessie McGoldrick, Barry Kavanagh, Brendan Lennon, Kevin Lilly (0-5), Brian O’Connor (1-2), Mike McKenna (0-1), Brendan Donoghue, David Phalen (2-1), Jack Lynn (1-2), Mickey Sheridan.

Sligo: Dermot Fleming, John Cribben, John McKenzie, Hugh Davey, Donal Cassidy, Mick Doyle, Padraig Mulhare, Declan O’Reilly (2-0), Peter Brennan, Noel Fitzgerald, Enda Henry (0-8), Conor Healy, Mike Burke, Mark O’Donnell, Tommy McVann (0-1).

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