Longwood’s Minor Footballers got their championship campaign off to a winning start with a hard fought but deserved victory against a formidable opponent in the form of Round Towers, the under-age amalgamation of Drumbaragh and Kilmainham.
As the supporters and players (well, most of them!) assembled at Kilmainham’s pristine pitch, there was a sense that this would be a serious challenge for the boys from South Meath. Indeed it was but they proved they were up for it.
It must be said that Round Towers were the superior team for the opening 20 minutes, at which point they led by 7 points on a scoreline of 1-8 to 0-4. Their centre forward, Hughie Corcoran who represents Meath at U16 level, was causing all sorts of problems and kicking points at will. A bit of a shemozzle shortly before the interval seemed to ignite the Longwood players and they racked up 1-2 without reply in the closing minutes of the half. The full forward line of Quin Fisher and Tadhg Connolly were starting to dominate their direct opponents, benefitting from quicker, more accurate foot passes from their team mates further out the field.
Half-time: Round Towers 1-8 Longwood 1-6
The half-time team talk delivered by Stephen King and Aaron Ennis worked a treat as Longwood took the game to their opponent from the resumption and registered 4 points without reply. The last two coming from the left boot of Scout Hanna who had a fantastic second half.
Round Towers responded with three points of their own and the Longwood supporters worried that their young team may have run out of gas. Not a bit of it. Centre back Scout Hanna charged forward to kick a fine point from play. A couple of minutes later Tadhg Connolly, whose speed and elusiveness caused havoc for the defence throughout, was dragged to the ground in the square. The referee awarded a penalty to the delight of the travelling supporters. Tadhg dusted himself down, regained his composure and dispatched the ball to the bottom corner of the net.
Round Towers responded with a point before Connolly combined well with Sam Dixon with the latter coolly slotting over a late insurance point. Despite a couple of late scares, Longwood held on for a two-point victory.
So well done to Stephen, Aaron and most especially to the players! Every one of the lads gave their all for Longwood. When the chips were down, particularly in the first half, they stuck together and played like a real team, encouraging and supporting each other as they worked their way back into the game. As we all know, one swallow does not a summer make, and it’s up to the lads to build on this win and push forward in the next couple of round robin games. This will be important because it would not be a surprise to see Round Towers recover from this setback and work their way through to the semi-finals. Hopefully our young team, with the correct level of dedication and commitment, will do likewise.
Next up for Longwood is a home game against Moynalty/Carnaross in a couple of weeks time. Please come out and support the team. They really do deserve it.
Longwood: Malachy Fisher, Coyle O’Brien, Sean Crum (Capt.), Adam Leacy, Liam Moroney, Scout Hanna (0-3), Lorcan Hannon, Doey (0-1), Ciaran Sheridan, Sam King (0-3), Sam Dixon (0-1), Donal Stagg, Tadhg Connolly (1-4), Ben Leacy, Quin Fisher (1-0). Subs Louis Butler for Donal Stagg, Noah Furlong for Liam Moroney