For the second time in three championship games, Longwood’s intermediate footballers lost out by the minimum margin, on this occasion to a doughty Drumbaragh side on Thursday evening in Carnaross.
And yet it all started so well. Longwood dominated the early exchanges and with just over five minutes on the clock, they found themselves leading by 1-2 to 0-0. The goal was finished clinically to the Drumbaragh net by Ryan Moore. The Longwood supporters could have been forgiven for thinking a long-awaited victory was on the cards.
However, the men in white would not score again until seven minutes into the second half. In the intervening period, Drumbaragh eased themselves into the game and gradually assumed control, registering nine unanswered points either side of half-time. Five of these points came from the left boot of ace marksman Hughie Corcoran who proved to be a real thorn in Longwood’s side for most of the contest.
That said, Longwood did create multiple goal chances in both halves. When they moved the ball quickly through the hands, they pierced Drumbaragh’s defensive shield with ease, but a lack of composure in front of goals meant there was nothing to show on the scoreboard from these attacks.
Ciaran Sheridan finally brought the scoring drought to an end, kicking a fine point from a hard-earned mark.
Drumbaragh pushed four points clear in the 41st minute, county stary Harry O’Higgins kicking what was to be their final score of the game. From here to the end, Longwood took control. They dominated possession but could not bridge the gap. They tagged on three points but spurned a number of other opportunities, failing to land the killer blow with their opponent on the ropes.
Knock-out games such as this ask much of players and sadly on this occasion Longwood couldn’t find sufficient answers. But they will take comfort from the fact that they created opportunities in the attacking zone and restricted their opponent to ten points, only three in the second half. If they can build on these aspects of their game, then they can approach the next challenge with increased confidence.
Longwood: Harry Hogan, Bob Maguire (Capt.), Niall Mulvey, Adam Leacy, Adam O’Brien, Ross Kerrigan, Fearghal O’Hare, Mickey Burke (0-2), Sean Coloe, Gavin Griffith, Ryan Moore (1-2), Ciaran Sheridan (0-1), Thomas Coloe (0-1), Anthony Healy, Billy Hogan. Subs: Karl Ennis for Gavin Griffith, Sean Sheridan for Adam O’Brien, Cathal Campbell, Jacob Baldwin, Aaron Ennis, Kevin Maguire, Dean Keogh, David Coloe, Josh Meagher