By Peter Nolan
Sligo and Longford proved an unsatisfying curtain raiser to the NYGAA’s big day, as Sligo easily defeated a weak Longford team 0-19 to 1-3 at Gaelic Park.
Longford were late coming out of their dressing rooms. As it turns out, they were waiting for players to show. They actually started the match two men short and, not surprisingly, Sligo took advantage.
Sligo, in contrast to their opponents, were very efficient and manager Mike Burke had his team well prepared. Brian McDonagh, a Sligo U-21 star, added a bit of dash to the Sligo forward line and Dermot Harrington gave Sligo a powerful presence in the middle of the park. Brian Montgomery made the most of his freedom, having no marker. Monty had a field day moving forward and linking with the Sligo attackers. Montgomery continued to play well when Longford later added a player for him to cover.
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The Longford players who did show up played hard, but Sligo were too strong. Brendan Lennon, Des McGoldrick, and Barry Kavanagh gave their all for the cause, but if they don’t find some players soon it will be a frustrating season for Longford.
Man of the Match: Brian Montgomery.
Sligo: John Cribben, Conor Healy, David Garvey, Brian Montgomery (0-1), Kevin Hegarty, Tony Nolan, Pat Gallagher, Dermot Harrington (0-3), Dino O’Connor, Brian McDonagh (0-8), Ronan Garvey (0-3), Paul Murphy, Eamon Duffy (0-1), Darren Meany (0-1), Tom Kirwin (0-2).
Longford: Evan Byrne, Pat Driscoll, Brendan Lennon, Dara Ferguson, Tom O’Brien, Des McGoldrick, Barry Kavanagh (0-1), Kealan Corrigan, Colm Corrigan (1-1), Owen Kane (0-1), Declan Bracken, John Cranny, John O’Halloran, Declan Bracken.