Superb Smyth leads Longford rout of Faithful
Longford 3-18 Offaly 1-13
Longford sent out a warning from Tullamore yesterday as they trounced Offaly by 11 points in a game that they commanded throughout.
Many expected a tight affair, but Longford hadn't read the script as they built on a 0-14 to 1-1 half-time lead, with three goals inside the opening nine minutes of the second-half putting the game to bed.
With Robbie Smyth and Sean McCormack leading the charge up front, a lacklustre Offaly had no answer as they trailed by as much as 18 points at one stage in the second-half.
After Longford took an early 0-4 to nil lead, Offaly hit back with a goal from Cian Donohoe in the 10th minute to bring them into the game.
Longford were aided by the breeze in the first-half and they had McCormack, Smyth and attacking wing-back Barry Gilleran to the fore as they led 0-11 to 1-1 with just under 10 minutes to half-time.
The lead stretched to 0-14 to 1-1 by half-time and Offaly needed to rattle in an early second-half goal to make a game of it.
However, they totally capitulated as Longford found the net three times through Rian Brady, Conor Berry and Sean McCormack to leave it 3-15 to 1-3 with 25 minutes to play.
The game was over as a contest, but Offaly kept plugging away, with teenage starlet Cian Johnson standing tall with four points from play.
Longford kept the scoreboard ticking over with three more points, but their work was done as they move on to play Derry at home next weekend.
Scorers - Longford: R Smyth 0-8 (0-4f), S McCormack 1-4, R Brady 1-2, C Berry 1-0, B Gilleran 0-2, D Reynolds and P Collum ('45') 0-1 each.
Offaly: C Johnson 0-4, C Donohoe 1-0, B Allen 0-3 (1f), S Tierney (1f) and A Sullivan (1f) 0-2 each, J O'Connor and N Dunne (free) 0-1 each.
LONGFORD - P Collum 7; P McCormack 7, P Fox 6, P Foy 7; B Gilleran 8, M Quinn 8, B McKeon 7; D Gallagher 8, A Farrell 7; D Reynolds 7, C Berry 7, D Mimnagh 7; R Smyth 9, S McCormack 9, R Brady 8. Subs: D McElligott 7 (blood) for P Foy (20m), R McEntire 7 for D Gallagher (55m), D McGivney 6 for A Farrell (55m), P Foy for P Fox (55m), J McGivney 6 for D Reynolds (62m), P Gill 6 for D Mimnagh (64m), S Donohoe 6 for C Berry (66m).
OFFALY - A Mulhall 6; J Lalor 5, P McConway 6, D Brady 6; D Dempsey, 6 S Pender 6, C Donohoe 7; C Dunne 6, M Brazil 6; J Hayes 5, A Sullivan, 6 S Nally 6; B Allen 6, C Johnson 7, N Dunne 6. Subs: J O'Connor 6 for J Lalor (28m), P Cunningham 6 for J Hayes 33m), C McNamee 6for C Dunne (46m), N Darby 6 for M Brazil (46m), J Maloney 6 for D Brady (55m),S Tierney 6 for N Dunne (62m).
Ref - N McKenna (Monaghan)