Sheedy's switches revive Longford
Longford 1-8 Athlone IT 0-10
A raft of replacements turned the tide as Longford came from behind to grind out a nail-biting victory in Ballymahon.
Jack Sheedy's outfit looked to be staring down the barrel of a second defeat in five days until the introduction of a number of key players, who steadied the ship and edged out their young opponents in a gruelling encounter.
Athlone IT enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the opening half-hour and held a one-point advantage at the interval. Free-taker Cathal Shine made the most of Longford's lack of discipline in the first quarter, registering four points from close range.
New boss Sheedy made two changes at the interval and the returning Enda Williams, who plied his trade for Leitrim last season, made an immediate impact. He set up the game's only goal for Padraig Gill, who got on the end of a glorious move.
In the closing stages Longford half-forward Brian Kavanagh was dismissed for a second bookable offence, and Athlone IT tried to make the most of their numerical advantage.
They created a number of chances to gain parity, but Longford held their nerve and earned their second victory under Sheedy.
Scorers -- Longford: P Gill 1-2, C Mimnagh, P McKeon 0-2 each, R McEntire, B Kavanagh 0-1 each. AIT: C Shine 0-5 (5fs), L Murphy, A Caul, C O'Brien, J Dolan, D Farley 0-1 each.
Longford -- P Collum; C P Smyth, F Battrim, G Smith; S Cox, P Brady, F Reilly; K Diffley, S Kiernan; R McEntire, B Kavanagh, P Gill; S Doyle, B Farrell, C Mimnagh. Subs: E Williams for G Smith (h-t), P McKeon for B Farrell (h-t), J Keegan for K Diffley (56), P Foy for C Mimnagh (56), D Cooney for S Doyle (63).
Athlone IT -- G Conaughton; E Kerrins, J Cassidy, J Donoghue; L Murphy, K Martin, T Mooney; C Duggan, C Shine; A Saul, C O'Brien, S Quinn; C Fitzgerald, J Dolan, A Coffey. Subs: D Farley for K Martin (27), K McGuire for G Connaughton (h-t), J Mulligan for S Quinn (46), A Stone for A Caul (53), P MacGahern for A Coffey (61).
Ref -- S Murphy (Louth)