ACHL Division 2 League Final: Longwood 1-22 O'Mahony's 1-12
Division 3 champions in 2017, Division 2 champions in 2018 - dare we dream for 2019 ?
Whatever happens in the years ahead, the current trajectory for Longwood GAA is undoubtedly positive.
From the success of our U12 footballers and U16 hurlers to the glorious experience that was Féile Peile Na nÓg and, most recently, Saturday's Division 2 success for our senior hurlers; the first half of 2018 has certainly been incredibly successful. We can only hope that the coming months see the good times continue.
Longwood approached the final in determined mood. The delayed start, due to the preceding game going to extra time, did little to affect the players' focus; they were here to win and nothing was going to get in their way.
Longwood took the lead, a lead they would never relinquish, with an Anthony Healy free after just 78 seconds. The teams would share the opening 4 scores before Longwood edged clear with successive points from Anthony Healy, Eoin Lynch and Aaron Ennis. Despite playing into the prevailing breeze, the boys would maintain this three point advantage through to the halftime break.
Halftime: Longwood 0-11 O'Mahony's 0-8
Longwood started the second half quickly, early points from inside forwards Healy and Ennis extending the advantage to 5 points before a prodigous point from Ryan Moore, from well inside his own half, brought the Longwood supporters to their feet. As inspirational scores go, this was up there with the best.
While O'Mahony's rallied to score a goal midway through the second half, Longwood's experience shone through as they responded immediately with 2 points in as many minutes before Aaron Ennis raised a green flag with a clinical finish to the bottom corner of the net. The remaining minutes saw the teams exchange scores with Longwood keeping their opponents at a safe distance.
Anthony Healy, who ruthlessly punished any indiscipline from O'Mahony's, gave a masterclass in free-taking from a variety of distances and angles and ultimately finished with a total of 11 points.
The final whistle was greeted with loud cheers from those in attendance with some of Longwood's juvenile players invading the pitch to congratulate their heroes. Hopefully they will follow in their shoes one day!
Huge congratulations to the players and management team. They have displayed great consistency throughout the league campaign and fully deserve the title.
The two teams will meet again next Saturday in the 3rd round of the championship and while we hope for a similar scoreline, a one point win would be just as valuable.
Maigh Dearmhaí abú !
Longwood: Ross Healy, Paul Gill, Chris Lynch, Johnny Furey (Capt.), Joey Stenson, Michael Burke, Ryan Moore (0-2), Karl Ennis, Niall Mulvey (0-1), Damien Healy (0-1), Eoin Lynch (0-3), Bob Maguire, Aaron Ennis (1-4), Anthony Healy (0-11), Ross Kerrigan. Subs: Sean Sheridan, Keith Masterson, Coran Byrne, Enda Dixon, Mick Healy, Evan Coyle, Jim Dorran