Awesome Arthur hits 4-12 for Louth
Louth 4-17 Longford 5-7
Niall Arthur bagged a superb 4-12 of his side's 4-17 total as he inspired Louth to victory over Longford at Pearse Park.
The Wee County had a one-point cushion at the half-time interval thanks to excellent points from Paddy Lynch and Arthur but the midlanders stayed in contention with two glorious first-half goals from Patrick Walsh.
Arthur continued to pose a serious threat to the Longford rearguard and with almost every opportunity he found the target.
Longford's Daniel Connell was issued with a straight red card in the closing minutes.
Louth appeared to be able to go through the extra gears when needed and closed out with a volley of scores.
SCORERS - Louth: N Arthur 4- 12 (5f, '65); P Lynch 0-2; M Molloy, G Arthur, S Connelly 0-1 each. Longford: J O'Brien 2-4 (3f); P Walsh 2-0; R Murray 1-0; C Mullane (f), D Connell and J Casey 0-1 each.
Louth - S Hackett 6; M Wallace 6, M Lyons 7, C Matthews 6; S Kettle 7, R Byrne 7, A McCrave 7; D Ryan 7, M Molloy 7; S Callan 6, G Arthur 6, G Smyth 7; S Conneely 6, N Arthur 9, P Lynch 7. Subs: D Murphy for S Callan (56).
Longford - C Gallagher 6; D Duggan 6, D Connell 6, S Hannon 6; K Murray 6, P Walsh 6, C Mullane 6; S Stakelum 6, P Barden 6; G Moore 6, A Sheridan 6, J O'Brien 6; J Casey 6, L Leonard 6, P Corcoran 6. Subs: R Murray for S Stakelum (22), PJ Masterson for P Corcoran (23), P Leonard for P Barden (57), P O'Brien for P Walshe (69), C McLoughlin for G Moore (72).
REF - C Mooney (Dublin)