ACFL Division 3: Longwood 2-10 St Ultan's 0-15
Longwood secured their first league points of the season with a narrow victory over visiting St Ultan's on a bright but chilly Sunday afternoon.
Despite the temptation of Ireland v Italy and Liverpool v Man Utd, a number of hardy souls availed of the opportunity to come out and cheer on their clubs and they were rewarded with a relatively open game of football. That said, both teams will have to spend some time working on their finishing as a lack of accuracy in front of goals was a major factor in this contest.
Longwood can count themselves somewhat fortunate to hold on for this much-needed victory. They failed to register a score in the final 25 minutes of the game and were very much relieved to hear the final whistle when it eventually arrived.
To be fair, they had played some excellent football in the opening half, amassing an excellent 1-9 before the interval. Aided by the availability of county stars Mickey Burke and Eoin Lynch, both of whom contributed handsomely on the scoreboard and in general play, Longwood took the game to the men from Bohermeen and cut through their defence on numerous occasions. A 6 point half-time lead was well deserved, and when Thomas Coloe netted a second goal early in the second half, Longwood looked set for a comfortable victory.
Such assumptions were wide of the mark however as St Ultan's began to exert control and, point by point, they edged their way back into the game. Thankfully for the home team and their supporters, they held on to land two precious points.
Unfortunately for Longwood, their already depleted panel was stretched further when Niall Mulvey had to be replaced due to injury early in the game. This, combined with a red card for Joey Stenson late in the game, could have repercussions for future games but for now we will gratefully accept the win. On a more positive note, it was great to see Anthony Healy back in the Longwood colours for the first time this season. "Anto" has worked incredibly hard to recover from a knee injury sustained in last year's Leinster club championship and we wish him well for the season.
Division 3 of the All County League continues to be incredibly competitive and this is unlikely to change as Longwood are due to travel to table-topping Castletown in the next round.
Longwood: Gary Heneghan, Jacob Baldwin, Vinny Byrne, Ross Kerrigan, Niall Mulvey, Joey Stenson, Coran Byrne, Eoin Lynch (1-1), Sean Coloe, Aaron Ennis (0-2), Ryan Moore (0-2), Thomas Coloe (1-0), Stephen King (0-1), Anthony Healy, Mickey Burke (0-4). Subs: Brendan Hanna for Mulvey, Dean Keogh for Byrne.