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Students' class proves to be too strong for Longford

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Evan Keane, DCU, shoots to score his sides third goal of the game despite the challenge of Fergal Battrim, Longford

Evan Keane, DCU, shoots to score his sides third goal of the game despite the challenge of Fergal Battrim, Longford

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Colm Smith, Longford, in action against, Jonathon Bealin, DCU

Colm Smith, Longford, in action against, Jonathon Bealin, DCU

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Paul McKeon, Longford, in action against, Brian Donnelly, DCU

Paul McKeon, Longford, in action against, Brian Donnelly, DCU

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Evan Keane, DCU, shoots to score his sides third goal of the game despite the challenge of Fergal Battrim, Longford

DCU led from start to finish to get their O'Byrne Cup campaign off to a perfect start and justify their status as one of the favourites for the Sigerson Cup.

An understrength Longford side made a game of it in the opening half but the students just had too much firepower when it was most required at Pearse Park in Longford.

The positives for Jack Sheedy centred around the return of Diarmuid Masterson for his first game in almost two seasons after a stint in Australia and the Dromard man was solid at centre-back.

But it was the display of his clubmate Francis McGee which gave Longford most hope as he kicked six points from play in an accomplished performance.

However, they were always playing catch-up against a DCU side who may have lost a string of stars of recent years but Niall Moyna's men still possess plenty of class.

The Smith brothers from Roscommon emphasise that and they combined for the opening goal after eight minutes when Donie put Enda through to score from close range to open up a 1-2 to 0-1 lead. Two Rory Connor points helped extend that lead to 1-5 to 0-2 but Longford rallied and with McGee picking off some excellent scores, they got the deficit down to 1-6 to 0-7 at the break.

Wicklow's Conor McGraynor got a second goal five minutes after the break. There was no way back after that for a Longford side who only managed 0-4 in the second half as DCU, who hit 11 wides to six for Longford in the game, finished strongly with Evan Keane getting their third goal.

Scorers - DCU: E Smith 1-1, E Keane, C McGraynor 1-0 each, R Connor, C Meredith, C McHugh (1f), D Smith 0-2 each, G Kelly (f), M Quinn, N Murphy, D Ward 0-1 each.

Longford: F McGee 0-6, P McKeon 0-3 (1f), S McCormack (f), D Masterson 0-1 each.

DCU: D Mulvihill; J Smith, C Begley, D Ward; J Bealin, C Moynagh, C Boyle; S O'Brien, E O'Connor; E Smith, C Meredith, M Quinn; D Smith, G Kelly, R Connor.

Subs: C McGraynor for Kelly (30), F Kelly for Boyle (35), E Keane for Connor (48), C McHugh for Quinn (48), N Murphy for Meredith (61), D Mulgrew for O'Connor (65).

Longford: P Collum; D Brady, T Gallagher, B Devine; C Smyth, D Masterson, E Williams; C Quaine, R McEntire; P Foy, D Cooney, F McGee; P McKeon, S McCormack, P Gill. Subs: A Rowan for Gallagher (48), F Battrim for Quaine (51), K Murray for Smyth (65), S Donoghue for Williams (65), B Kavanagh for Masterson (67).

Referee: M Deegan (Laois)

Sunday Indo Sport