McCormack holds nerve in nail-biter to send Saffrons into basement
Antrim 1-13 Longford 0-16
Longford maintained their place in Division 3 for 2018 with a nail-biting draw against Antrim at Corrigan Park.
The hard-earned point kept the Leinster men ahead of Antrim in the league standings and condemns the Ulster side to Division 4 football next season.
It was a nip-and-tuck game that ended in dramatic fashion with a Sean McCormack free in the eighth minute of injury time denying Antrim the victory that would have kept them in Division 3.
Longford, who played the final quarter-hour with 13 men, looked destined for the drop when CJ McGourty stroked over a superb point in the 76th minute to put Antrim 1-13 to 0-15 ahead, but McCormack held his nerve to convert that late free.
Longford's Andrew Farrell saw red in the 50th minute after dragging Kevin Niblock to the ground in the small square, and eight minutes later he was joined by Padraig McCormack.
Antrim finished with 14 men after losing Ryan Murray to injury having already used all six substitutes. A penalty from McGourty had forced Antrim back into contention but McCormack's late free earned Longford a crucial share of the spoils.
SCORERS - Antrim: CJ McGourty 1-7 (1-5f); D Lynch 0-2; P Healy, R McCann, M Fitzpatrick, B Bradley 0-1 each. Longford: S McCormack (3f), R Smyth (3f) 0-4 each; B McKeon 0-2; P Collum (45), B Gilleran, D Gallagher, L Connerton, J McGivney, M Quinn 0-1 each.
Antrim - C Kerr 8; C Hamill 6, P Gallagher 7, P Healy 7; P McBride 7, D Lynch 9, P McAleer 7; J Dowling 6, K Niblock 7; R McCann 7, M Fitzpatrick 7, S Donnelly 7; CJ McGourty 8, B Bradley 7, N Delargy 8. Subs: P Branagan 6 for C Hamill (19), D Nugent 6 for J Dowling (45), C Small 7 for R McCann (46), E Walsh 6 for S Donnelly (48), J Hannigan 6 for P Branagan (48), R Murray for N Delargy (65).
Longford - P Collum 7; D Brady 7, B Gilleran 7, A Farrell 6; D McElligott 7, P McCormack 6, B O'Farrell 7; D Gallagher 7, L Moran 6; L Connerton 7, J McGivney 8, B McKeon 8; R Smyth 9, M Quinn 7, S McCormack 9. Subs: D Masterson 6 for L Moran (54), J Keegan for D Gallagher (69), P Farrell for L Connerton (72).
REF - N Mooney (Cavan).