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Murphy: Royals won't fear trip to Fortress Aughrim

WICKLOW manager Harry Murphy insists that Meath won't be fearful when they visit Fortress Aughrim after his team beat Longford 1-15 to 0-16 in yesterday's Leinster SFC opener.

It was Wicklow's first Leinster championship match at Aughrim since 2000.

"To get a win here in front of our own crowd was brilliant for everyone, especially as everyone knows it was our first win of the year," Murphy said.

"The lads played really well, especially in the first half and then we defended really well in the second half.

"Meath won't be really worried about playing here, but we'll be waiting for them and if the lads play the way they played today, we'll give them a good run."



The home side established a 0-9 to 0-5 lead by half-time.

Seanie Furlong, with 1-5 to his credit, took the lion's share of attention but it was a strong team performance that got Wicklow through.

James Stafford and Anthony McLoughlin won a number of key contests in midfield, particularly in the first half.

Longford free-taker Sean McCormack hit 0-7 in total, four from frees, but missed a couple of crucial chances in the dying minutes as his team desperately sought to get back on terms.

Unfortunately for the visitors, goalkeeper Damien Sheridan couldn't do much about Furlong's 37th-minute score.

"James Stafford caught a great ball and he handed it out to Joey (Kelly) and he popped it to Darragh (O'Sullivan) and all of a sudden it was opened up. I was there and I just stuck it in the bottom corner," said Furlong.

He had a similar one-on-one in the 59th minute, but blasted the ball over the bar.



Longford manager Glenn Ryan was deeply disappointed, particularly by the opening 35 minutes.

"We seemed to be slow and ponderous and fumbly on the ball, which is something we haven't been all year, despite our results.

"Sometimes you look at this game and you wonder what the hell is it that makes you come back to it, because there's so many times you get kicked just when you think things are going well.

"But that's the challenge from the point of view of trying to overcome that.

"It will be very difficult to pick it up, but these fellas have shown great determination to try and do something for Longford football.

"There's more to them than they've shown here today," Ryan added.