Longford secured a dream second promotion on the bounce last night in Thurles with a battling draw against bottom side Tipperary.
They levelled late on with a Brian Kavanagh free then led through a point from the impressive Paul Barden. However, Tipp deserved the draw earned by Barry Grogan's 70th-minute equalising free.
Longford went 0-5 to 0-4 ahead on the quarter-hour mark as their quick passing and easy movement made them look worthy favourites. But they found it hard to shake off a dogged Tipperary side.
Without a manager after the resignation of John Evans last weekend, Tipp nevertheless grew into the game and were in front by the 24th minute.
The Longford midfield partnership of Bernard McElvaney and Martin Brady initially had things their way, but Brian Jones and Donncha Heffernan began to win more possession.
The home side led by 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time, with Longford only registering one score in the second quarter.
The visitors finally squared things up in the 67th minute with a free by Kavanagh. Paul Barden then fisted over to put them ahead before Grogan tied up the match for Tipp.
Scorers -- Tipperary: B Grogan 0-7 (7f), P Acheson, B O'Brien 0-2 each, P Austin 0-1. Longford: B Kavanagh 0-5 (4f), P Barden 0-4, B McElvaney, JJ Matthews, M Quinn (1 '45') 0-1 each.
Tipperary: M O'Donnell; A Morrissey, P Codd, C McDonald; R Kiely, R Costigan, T Ryan; B Jones, D Heffernan; A Campbell, H Coghlan, P Acheson; B O'Brien, P Austin, B Grogan. Subs: L Egan for T Ryan (20), C Sweeney for Egan (62), D Leahy for Campbell (67), S Ryan for O'Brien (68).
Longford: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; C Smyth, M Quinn, S Mulligan; B McElvaney, M Brady; D Barden, P Barden, J McGivney; D McElligott, B Kavanagh, JJ Matthews. Subs: P Foy for S Mulligan (42), N Farrell for M Brady (56), B McKeon for D Barden (70)
Referee: R Moloney (Limerick)