The humiliating defeat at the hands of Dublin three weeks ago had the potential to sink Longford football back into the doldrums.
The younger players on the squad would have been forgiven if they opted to throw their boots into a bag and head away for the summer. This, however, was never an option for Jack Sheedy's outfit and last night they got their championship back on track with an impressive performance in victory over Carlow.
Any away teams who have travelled to Glennon Bros Pearse Park will know it is not an easy place to come away with the spoils.
Last night's victory against Carlow wasn't as spectacular as more recent ones against, for example, Derry but for manager Sheedy it gives him a little breathing room before his next encounter in two weeks' time .
Sheedy is a realist and it is probably fair to assume he does not expect to be in the business end of the championship; he does, however, expect his team to play with a sense of purpose and on this Longford delivered the goods in this win.
They stamped their authority throughout this encounter. Mickey Quinn dictated the midfield possession with gusto, while the inside forward line of Brian Kavanagh and Liam Connerton settled any early match day jitters with three points.
The hosts set the pace throughout the first half. Dessie Reynolds and Connerton terrorised Carlow's defence and the scoring margins could have been greater if Longford had converted more of a number of goal opportunities they created.
The visitors were forced to live of scraps for long periods of the first half. Brian Murphy was their target man, while David Bambrick and Sean Gannon took full advantage of the wind assistance with a brace of long-range points. Longford, however, stretched their lead out to three points at the interval.
On resumption, Longford continued to rue missed opportunities in front of the posts before Connerton set up Reynolds, who bagged the game's first goal. Carlow instantly responded with a wonderful goal from Daryl Roberts, but within a minute Quinn had picked out Connerton, who superbly drilled his shot into the top corner of the Carlow net.
From here on in, it was plain sailing for the host, Kavanagh maintained his deadly accuracy from placed balls, while a series of rapid fire points from Diarmuid Masterson, Quinn and Fergal Battrim wrapped up the contest for the Midlanders.
Scorers - Longford: B Kavanagh 0-7 (6f), D Reynolds 1-1, L Connerton 1-2, D Masterson 0-2, M Quinn, F Battrim, R McEntire 0-1 each; Carlow: B Murphy 0-3 (2f), D Roberts 1-0, D Bambrick, S Gannon, G Power, M Meaney, D St Ledger 0-1 each.
Longford: P Collum; D Brady, B O'Farrell, F Battrim; C P Smyth, B Gilleran, D Masterson; M Quinn, K Diffley; P Foy, R McEntire, R Connor; L Connerton, B Kavanagh, D Reynolds. Subs: P Gill for P Foy 47, T Gallagher for D Masterson 61, R McNerney for D Reynolds 65, C Quaine for B Kavanagh 67.
Carlow: R Molloy; D Kelly, S Redmond, K Nolan; G Power, D St Ledger, B Kavanagh; S Gannon, E Ruth; M Meaney, D Foley, D Bambrick; B Murphy, D Hayden, D Roberts. Subs: D Moran for D Kelly 21, C Moran for D Bambrick 55, E Finnegan for M Meaney 61, D O'Brien for D Roberts 64, A Kelly for E Ruth 66, M Fitzgerld for B Kavanagh 66.
Referee: D Gough (Meath)
Sunday Indo Sport