Longwood's journey to Castletown on Friday evening proved to be fruitless in terms of the result but there were elements that will have given new manager, Davy Cahill, reason to hope.
As has become the norm over recent seasons, Longwood were forced to field without several players involved with various county panels. That said, a panel of twenty one players togged out on the night and they played some good football in patches.
While nobody could argue that Castletown were deserving winners, the final scoreline was very harsh on Longwood.
Castletown's superior fitness after their remarkable season, when represented Meath with such distinction, was telling but Longwood battled with their trademark tenacity and some excellent points from Ryan Moore, Gavin Griffith and Bob Maguire kept them in touch. They reached the half-time break trailing by a manageable four points. In addition, they would have the benefit of playing with the breeze for the second period.
The second half was all about goal chances; Castletown converted two in quick-fire fashion midway through the half while Longwood missed a couple of chances with Ryan Moore flashing a piledriver just wide and Anthony Healy seeing his goal bound shot saved by the Castletown keeper. The lads persevered and Healy did secure a late goal, just reward for the boys' efforts.
So defeat for the boys but another sixty minutes in the fitness bank. They move on to face Meath Hill next Friday evening in Longwood.
Longwood: Sean O'Shea, Coyle O'Brien, Cathal Campbell, Ross Kerrigan, Adam O'Brien, Niall Mulvey, Ciaran Sheridan, Thomas Coloe (0-1), Bob Maguire (0-1), Gavin Griffith (0-1), Ryan Moore (0-6), Sam Dixon, Sam King (0-1), Anthony Healy (1-0), Dean Keogh. Subs: Josh Meagher for Dixon, David Coloe for King, Mark Kennedy for Keogh, David Dixon for O'Brien, Jim Mahon for Campbell, Kevin Maguire for Coloe