Louth 2-8 Longford/Leitrim 0-9
Louth scored a goal in each half in picking up their second win of the masters’ championship in Haggardstown on Saturday afternoon.
But, after a bright start that saw some good interchange play and a goal by Glen O’Reilly, the winners made hard work of a tetchy contest against Longford/Leitrim.
The Reds were in need of a victory in round four having succumbed to defeat in their previous fixtures away to Donegal and Kildare, and they got the job done despite a slack effort either side of the break.
Seán Gogarty’s early point preceded O’Reilly’s major, which came after the impressive Noel Tuite had fetched a Seamus Quigley kickout that had been caught in the stiff, downfield breeze.
Former St Bride’s player Trevor Hilliard was a bundle of energy and at the heart of much of Louth’s good play, alongside the best man on show, Shane Sweeney. Hilliard’s neat link-up with Tuite resulted in another Wee score and when Damien Connor fired over a free, the Reds were 1-3 to 0-2 to the good.
Ray Cox was the away outfit’s liveliest threat, kicking fine points from various angles, with Paul Barden a strong runner through the middle.
Indeed, the pair combined for all but one of the Longford/Leitrim notches before the interval as the visitors hauled themselves back on level terms with Louth’s play stuttering.
And their dominance was maintained upon the game’s resumption, albeit they were unable to score, having one effort cleared off the goalline.
They were made to pay for letting Louth off the hook, too, with Connor raising three white flags before Ronan McElroy neatly hit the net after a flowing move through Aidan Shevlin, Hilliard and Sweeney.
The gap was cut to three – 2-6 to 0-9 – entering the dying embers but McElroy and John Moroney points sealed the deal in the Wee men’s favour.
LOUTH: S Quigley; P Meade, T Donegan, P Hughes; J Tiffney, N Tuite 0-1, P Prendergast; S Gogarty 0-1, S Sweeney; P Burke, T Hilliard, G O’Reilly 1-0; D Connor 0-4 (2f), A Shevlin, M Brennan. Subs: M Lundon, K McKenna, R Lucid, P Murray, J Kerr, J Moroney 0-1, R McElroy 1-1, T Taaffe.
LONGFORD/LEITRIM: F Noonan; D McKeon, E McGahan, M McArdle; JP McManus, M Hagan, D Kellegher; N Brady, P McGarry 0-1; M Connor, P Barden 0-1, G Nerney; M Flynn, P Corrigan, R Cox 0-6 (2f). Subs: J Martin 0-1, D Harnot, J Quinn.
REFEREE: Diarmuid Boylan (Monaghan).