Thursday 17 October 2019

Sligo still searching for first win

Allianz Football League Division 3 Rd 6: Longford 2-15 Sligo 0-14

At Glennon Brothers Pearse Park

Sligo were hoping to get their first win in the Allianz league on Saturday away to Longford and although already relegated Paul Taylor's side showed impressive form in the opening half and were controlling the game but the second half was a different tale.

The hosts with goals from the influential Darren Gallagher on 38 minutes and substitute Nigel Rabbitte on 63 minutes made up for their poor showing in the first half as they won by 7 points, both sides finishing with 14 men.

Sligo were dealt a heavy blow after the resumption when full forward Pat Hughes, who had been immense in the opening half, was given a second yellow card on 37 minutes. This gave Longford a pep in their step, almost immediately going on the attack and midfielder Gallagher finding the net after good work from Michael Quinn, who was also to leave the field of play later on.

There were two changes to the Sligo starting 15 with Neil Ewing coming in to replace John Francis Carr while Paul McNamara was on for Adrian McIntyre.

Longford got off the mark through Quinn with a fine score in the first minute while Adrian Marren responded after brilliant work from Barry Gorman and it was the Coolaney/Mullinabreena man who edged Sligo in front with a fantastic point after a Hughes pass on 3 minutes.

Gallagher then drew the sides level a minute later after Daniel Mimnagh was fouled before Sligo captain Niall Murphy converted a mark by Paul Kilcoyne that was brought forward by referee Joe McQuillan. A brilliant score from Longford full forward Connor Berry saw both sides on 3 points seven minutes in, the opening stages of the game extremely fast-paced with good play from both sides.

Half back Darragh Cummins gave Sligo the lead once more from play after a Kilcoyne pass while Longford's Darragh Doherty was bounding down on the Sligo goal passing to Liam Connerton but his shot dropped into the arms of Aidan Devaney in the Sligo goal.

James McGivney with an excellent point from play brought it level again on 14 minutes, Colm P Smyth and Connerton involved in what was an entertaining first half.

A Carrabine free and a Marren mark saw Sligo go 2 in front as heavy rain engulfed the stadium while the Yeats county were dealt an injury blow when Gorman couldn't continue.

Longford's Mimnagh got a point on 21 minutes as they were behind by one before Murphy scored an excellent point from play for the visitors.

Moments later substitute David Quinn then put Sligo 3 in front.

A Longford free from Gallagher was tipped over by Devaney as Sean Carrabine, impressive for Sligo added another fine score from play on 25 minutes as they led by 9 points to six.

Hughes got his first yellow after a foul on Mimnagh before Longford registered their first wide on 28 minutes, Sligo ending the half with 4 to their subsequent three.

Hughes scored a fantastic point after a sublime pass from Marren as they went 4 in front on 29 minutes.

A minute later Longford half back Darren Quinn ran substantial distance and pointed a good score while a Carrabine free dropped short for Sligo.

A Longford goal opportunity from Connerton drifted to the right and wide before the referee awarded the hosts a free close to the penalty area, Gallagher slotting over his third 2 minutes to the break.

Sligo got the last score of the half when good work from Mickey Gordon found Murphy free and he pointed a brilliant score as Sligo led by 11 points to eight at the interval.

The second half was one which Longford began to command, Barry McKeon with a free making it a 2 point game before Hughes was given a second yellow on 37 minutes.

Longford then went on the attack, Quinn finding Gallagher who netted to put them in front.

Aidan Devaney converted a free for the visitors to draw it level but from here Longford scored four on the bounce, Quinn, Gallagher (free), Smyth and Doherty all on target as they led by 1-13 to 12 points as the hosts turned the 3 point half-time deficit into a four point advantage on 51 minutes.

Six minutes later Longford were also reduced to 14 men, Quinn receiving a black and then red for a challenge on Murphy. Carrabine with a fine point from play put a goal between them on 62 minutes but Longford attacked again. Gallagher, Berry, Donal McElligott linking up with substitute Rabitte putting the game out of Sligo's grasp.

Carrabine was fouled and pointed the free on 65 minutes but Longford won by 7 with Doherty (free) and Mimnagh adding two more as Sligo still look for their first win with Offaly the final game this Sunday at home.

LONGFORD: P Collum, P Fox, A Farrell, B O'Farrell, C P Smyth, D McElligott (C), D Quinn, D Gallagher, M Quinn, B McKeon, J McGivney, D Mimnagh, D Doherty, C Berry, L Connerton. Subs used: J Hagan for Mimnagh (b/s 28), N Rabbitte for Connerton (55), J Keegan for Doherty (61), J Hagan for McKeon (72).

Scorers: D Gallagher (1-4, 4f), N Rabbitte (1-0), M Quinn (0-2), C Berry (0-2, 1f), D Mimnagh (0-2), J McGivney (0-1), D Quinn (0-1), C P Smyth (0-1), D Doherty (0-1), B McKeon (0-1, 1f).

SLIGO: A Devaney, N Mullen, P Laffey, N Ewing, D Cummins, P McNamara, M Gordon, P Kilcoyne, G O'Kelly-Lynch, K McKenna, A Marren, S Carrabine, B Gorman, P Hughes, N Murphy (C). Subs used: D Quinn for Gorman (inj 18), L Gaughan for Mullen (inj 49), J F Carr for McKenna (55), L Gilmartin for Marren (65).

Scorers: N Murphy (0-3, 1f), S Carrabine (0-4, 2f), A Marren (0-2, 1f), B Gorman (0-1), D Cummins (0-1), D Quinn (0-1), P Hughes (0-1), A Devaney (0-1, f).

REFEREE: J McQuillan (Cavan).

Sligo Champion