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Dowd proves difference for Longford

A Paddy Dowd free in the 56th minute edged Longford to a single-point victory over Wexford in this opening round clash at Farmleigh.

Longford raced into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead inside four minutes, with points from Dowd, Kevin Burke and Marty Mulvey.

They built up a 0-6 to 0-3 lead by the end of the opening quarter, but three excellent points from Wexford veteran Matty Forde hauled the home side back into contention, trailing 0-8 to 0-7 at the interval.

After Paddy McKeon and Forde exchanged early second-half frees, a Marty Mulvey point put Longford into a 0-10 to 0-8 lead entering the final quarter.

But it was Dowd's late free that ultimately proved the difference between the sides at the final whistle.

SCORERS – Longford: P Dowd 0-6 (4fs), P McKeon (1f), M Mulvey 0-2 each, D Mimnagh, K Burke 0-1 each. Wexford: M Forde 0-4 (1f), K O'Grady (1f), K Rowe 0-2 each, K Kehoe, K Gorey, S Gaul 0-1 each.

LONGFORD – P Collum; R Keogh, B O'Farrell, J Kenny; S Powell, D Bennett, M Duffy; J Kane, D Gallagher; D Mimnagh, P Dowd, S Doyle; K Burke, P McKeon, M Mulvey. Sub: D Keogh for R Keogh.

WEXFORD – T Hughes; B Mulligan, M Hanrahan, H O'Neill; J Kelly, M Furlong, S Culleton; K Butler, K Kehoe; S Gaul, K Gore, P Kelly; K O'Grady, M Forde, K Rowe. Sub: D Gardiner for Mulligan.

REF – E McKenna (Kildare).

Irish Independent