As a mark of respect to the Foran family on the loss of their beloved Fer’, all club activities in Longwood GAA were cancelled last week. In line with this, we decided it would be fitting to refrain from reporting on the LMS. Club PRO, Declan Dixon and Club historian, Jimmy ‘Joker’ Farrell wrote eloquently of the impact Fer’s legacy and achievements have had and continue to have on our club. These words are still available on our club website. It was an article that got national attention. Quoted is the great Nicky Rackard who said Fer was the best hurler he had ever played with.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
To briefly summarise week 2, 51 people were knocked out leaving only 68 participants going into week three. Casualty of the week goes to Dave Flynn whose card was completely wiped out with Armagh, Westmeath and Kildare letting down his participants. Anthony Healy had the best performing card with 75% standing strong. Anthony’s run of good luck continued in Pairc Tailteann that Sunday. Longwood's chief marksman made a well deserved returning appearance for Meath hurlers in a narrow victory over Wicklow. Anthony joined two other Longwood greats on the field of play with his baby brother Damien and Michael G Burke performing very positively from start to finish.
Giving the inclement weather, it is a small miracle Laois and Cavan was the only re-fixture from the top two divisions in round 3. Any participant who selected either of these teams will remain in the game until the fixture is played next Sunday, 16 February at 1 pm in MW Hire O’Moore Park.
Division 1 provided us with yet another draw on Saturday evening in Croke Park with Dublin and Monaghan finishing level on 1-15 apiece. Rory Beggan's monster free kick wasn’t enough to keep down the relentless Dubs. Davy Byrne levelled matters after a poacher supreme goal from the evergreen, swashbuckling Kevin McManamon. Monaghan, who had been the only team to achieve back to back victories against Jim Gavin’s Dubs over the previous two league meetings, will rue the ‘EXTRA’ added time afforded by the Down official, Ciaran Brannigan. Banty’s Biceps will thank Brannigan- the incessant fist pumps were surely putting them under pressure! This result knocked out 9 participants.
Elsewhere in division 1, it was a good weekend for the travelling Connacht teams in both divisions with Mayo beating Meath in Pairc Tailteann, Galway earning a valuable victory in Letterkenny against a physical Donegal team and while Roscommon accounted for Clare in Dr Hyde Park with their first victory of the division 2 campaign. With 16 people banking on Mayo, unfortunately for us Meath faithful, our opposing teams have been very fruitful in this competition thus far. Upcoming fixtures don’t seem to be getting any easier for the Royal footballers.
Also in the unpredictable Division two, Armagh continued their winning streak with a home win against the Lilly Whites after what proved to be an insurmountable 8 point half time lead. Westmeath made good use of a gale force first half wind when also leaving too much for Fermanagh to do in the second half. John Heslin was to the fore with five pointed frees. This high risk author bowed out on Sunday afternoon when his curious selection, Fermanagh, went down to the Westmeath Lakers. Please forgive him if future reports include a sprinkle of envy in the coming weeks. Casualty of the week is yours truly. As Brian O’ Driscoll once said ‘Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not picking Fermanagh to win in Mullingar on a wet and dreary February Sunday. We live and learn.
So, Longwood GAA LMS is down to 49 participants. Enda Dixon has the best performing card with 50% remaining. 5 participants await the meeting of Laois and Cavan and interestingly, all five have selected Laois! Best of luck to all participants in the next round which will take place on Saturday and Sunday 22nd & 23rd of February.
Report by Vinny Byrne