Category: Archive

New York GAA Longford slashes Clare banner

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Longford 0-12, Clare 1-5

Longford finally got their first win of the season in this Senior Football Div. II match following two losses in their opening two games.

Always a side one looks out for in Div. II, Longford have been unable to climb into the top flight for some time, and following a disastrous start to their campaign, things did not look favorably for this side.

Clare surprised a lot of people at the Park this season, especially with their fine win over rivals Offaly earlier in the year.

Coming into this tie, nobody really knew quite what to expect. Longford appeared to have lost their way, whereas Clare seemed to have found theirs. What did happen over 60 minutes was not a particularly memorable game of football, but Longford will not be complaining, having grabbed a valuable couple of points which they hope to build on for their exit from Div. II.

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Clare appeared the more attack-minded side of the two throughout many stages of the game, only being denied an impressive lead by some fabulous saves from Gavin Tonra in the Longford goal. Tonra made a number of impressive stops from the likes of Michael O’Shea and Darren Gleeson which really kept his side in the game.

Longford on the other hand, consistently wasted efforts up front, with a number of wides sailing past the posts, and the Clare backline breaking up a number of other attacking efforts.

Clare took the lead early on, as they had threatened to do, with Austin Kelly grabbing a point, and Michael O’Shea hitting a goal to give the Bannermen a four point lead early on.

In what was a low scoring first half, Longford hit back with three points without reply from Brendan Lennon, and a double from John Hegarty.

At half time, Clare held the slimmest of leads, going in at 1-1 to 0-3. Austin Kelly hit another point to restore Clare’s two point cushion, but he was immediately followed onto the scoreboard by Darragh Ferguson of Longford.

The Longford lads then found their feet, with Trevor Smullen grabbing the first of his three points, and Pádraig Davis and Darragh Ferguson following up to give Longford the lead for the first time of the afternoon. Longford were clearly on form, and stepped up a gear to find their way towards the posts and managed another couple of points without reply from Smullen, Davis and Hegarty to give their side a valuable two championship points.

Even at this stage, there are a number of sides still fighting for playoff contention, and you can be sure that there’s plenty of excitement still to come in Senior Football Div. II.

Longford: Gavin Tonra, Ciaran McGann, Philip Wallace, Niall Corbett, Brendan Donaghue, Mike McKenna, Barry Kavanagh, Mike Bishop, Brian O’Connor (0-1), Kevin O’Brien, Trevor Smullen (0-3), John Hegarty (0-3), Darragh Ferguson (0-2), Pádraig Davis (0-2), Brendan Lennon (0-1). Subs: Mike Sheridan, Pat O’Halloran

Clare: Martin O’Connor, Barry Malone, Paul O’Connor, James Downes, Gary Rocks, Sean Sullivan, Tony Nolan, Tom Nolan, Mark Crossan (0-1), Dave O’Halloran, Michael O’Shea (1-0), Darren Gleeson, Dermot Boylan, Austin Kelly (0-2), Gerry Power. Subs Bobby Chambers, Martin Turner (0-2)

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