Barden fires up Longford
Longford are almost certain to ply their trade in Division 2 next season following a four-point victory over Antrim at Pearse Park yesterday. Glenn Ryan's side have blazed a trail in Division 3 and are now undefeated from five games and at the top of the table with the maximum 10 points.
Sean McCormack continued his impressive scoring record, with five points as Longford dominated the first half. They held a five-point lead at half-time, thanks to four frees from McCormack and two excellent points from Paul Barden, ably assisted by his brother David.
After the break, Antrim were reduced to 14-men thanks to Michael Armstrong's second bookable offence, but the visitors still managed four points to reduce the deficit to three.
A brace from Bernard McElvaney and Paul Barden steadied the ship somewhat for Longford, yet their fans had cause for concern in the final five minutes after a Tomas McCann penalty made it a two-point affair.
However, two further points by Barden near the end closed the game out.
Man of the Match: P Barden (Longford)
Scorers -- Longford: P Barden 0-5 , S McCormack 0-5 (4f), B McElvaney 0-2, N Mulligan, B Kavanagh, S Mulligan 0-1 each. Antrim: T McCann 1-5 (1 pen, 3f, '45'), P Cunningham 0-2 (2f), M Sweeney 0-1.
Longford -- D Sheridan 7; D Brady 6, B Gilleran 6, D Reilly 7; CP Smith 6, M Quinn 7, S Mulligan 7; B McElvaney 6, J Keegan 6; D Barden 7, P Barden 8, N Mulligan 6; D McElligott 6, B Kavanagh 7, S McCormack 7. Subs: J McGivney 6 for Keegan (53), JJ Matthews 6 for N Mulligan (67).
Antrim -- C Kerr 6; K O'Brien 6, R Johnson 6, M Johnson 6; T Scullion 6, J Crozier 6, P McBride 6; M McCann 6, A Gallagher 6; T McCann 7, C Kelly 6, M Armstrong 6; C Murray 5, M Sweeney 5, P Cunningham 6. Subs: J Loughrey 6 for McBride (h-t), M Magill 6 for P Cunningham (48), S McDonagh 6 for Murray (48), B Neeson 6 for Kelly
Ref -- P Kneel (Louth).