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Longford see off 12-man Offaly to go up

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Jack Sheedy's Longford side were promoted to Division 3 following victory over Offaly at Pearse Park

Jack Sheedy's Longford side were promoted to Division 3 following victory over Offaly at Pearse Park

SPORTSFILE

Jack Sheedy's Longford side were promoted to Division 3 following victory over Offaly at Pearse Park

Jack Sheedy's Longford side earned promotion to Division 3 following a three-point victory over a 12-man Offaly side at Pearse Park.

Despite the numerical advantage, Longford were pushed to the pin of their collar and it was only in the closing minutes and with the help of a late substitute Ross McNerney that they managed to get the better of the Faithful County.

The visitors dominated for long periods of this entertaining contest and should rightly feel aggrieved by a number of refereeing decisions that did not go their way.

In a game that wasn't overly dirty, match referee Brendan Crawley dished out ten yellow cards and a straight red to Paul Conway that Offaly manager Pat Flanagan confirmed he would appeal.

Offaly threw all the right shapes in the opening exchanges with their plucky corner-forward Bernard Allen and Niall McNamee working the scoreboard for the visitors. The locals however gradually found their groove and handful of points from Paul McKeon and Brian Kavanagh got them right back into contention.

The introduction of Ross McNerney for Longford in the closing minutes greatly helped their cause and he landed three unanswered points that secured them Division 3 status next year.

Longford boss Jack Sheedy praised the efforts of his squad throughout their league campaign.

"The result was the most important thing for us today. It certainly wasn't pretty, we made heavy weather of it, given the circumstances but we are very happy with the way things unfolded in the end.

"Our lads worked hard and today their got their rewards, there is plenty of room for improvements but today its important to praise the players for their efforts and ensure we continue to improve ahead of our championship encounter against Offaly in a couple of months."

Man of the Match: Michael Quinn

Scorers - Longford: P McKeon 0-4 (2f), B Kavanagh 0-3f, S McCormack, R McNerney (2f) 0-2 each; F Battrim and F McGee 0-1 each. Offaly: B Allen 0-5 (2f), N McNamee 0-3(1f), E Carroll and J Maloney 0-1 each

Longford - P Collum 7; D Brady 7, B O'Farrell 6, P Foy 6; C P Smyth 6, D Masterson 7, E Williams 7; B Gilleran 6, K Diffley 7; M Quinn 8, P McKeon 7, R McEntire 6 ; B Kavanagh 6, S McCormack 6 , F McGee 6. Subs: F Battrim 6 for B O'Farrell (11), L Connerton for S McCormack (53), R McNerney for P McKeon (59), P Gill for F McGee (71), S Doyle for E McEntire (BC, 47).

Offaly - A Mullhall 7; B Darby 6, P McConway 6, J O'Connor 6; D Brady 6, J Maloney 7, N Brady 7; G Guilfoyle 8, N Smith 7; E Carroll 7 , N McNamee 8, A Sullivan 7; B Allen , N Dunne 6, W Mullhall 6. Subs: N Dunne 6 for J Ledwith (32), N Bracken for E Carroll (63), J Evans for B Allen (63), P Cunningham for A Sullivan (70), D Hogan for B Brady (70).

Ref - B Crawley (Kildare)

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