Longford improve their lot as they take midlands derby against Westmeath

Westmeath promotion hopes dealt sever blow in four-point defeat

Westmeath 0-10 Longford 0-14

Westmeath’s promotion hopes were dealt a severe blow in Mullingar on Saturday when relegation-threatened Longford deservedly won the midlands derby.

Longford's Mickey Quinn was denied a goal in the fourth minute when Jason Daly pulled off a fine save and four minutes later Alex Gardiner nudged Westmeath ahead.

Darren Gallagher and Jonathan Lynam exchanged points but scores from Sam McCartan, John Heslin (who had untypically spurned two earlier opportunities) and Lorcan Dolan put the home team ahead by 0-5 to 0-1 with 17 minutes on the clock.


Wind-assisted Longford responded with a couple of fine frees by Gallagher before Joseph Hagan’s low-trajectory shot in the 25th minute was superbly saved by Daly at the expense of a point.

Longford availed of turnovers to finish the half strongly with late points from a Dylan Farrell free and Hagan’s third and they led 0-8 to 0-7 at the end of an error-ridden first half.

Nigel Harte equalised a mere 15 seconds after play resumed but three minutes later they spurned a great opportunity of a goal when Dolan was fouled in the large parallelogram, but Heslin's weak penalty was saved by Paddy Collum.

Heslin soon compensated with a great point, but the Lake County men were not to score for another half an hour. Longford took control and they went on to rifle over six unanswered points before the end of the match.

Westmeath's lot was sealed when David Lynch was red-carded in the 63rd minute. Indeed, they ended the game with 13 players when sub Kieran Martin was black-carded in added-time. Another sub TJ Cox rounded off the scoring with a late point, but it was the visitors who deservedly won the day to somewhat ease their relegation worries.

WESTMEATH: J Daly; J Smith, K Maguire, D Giles; N Harte (0-1), R Wallace, S McCartan (0-1); S Duncan, J Lynam (0-1); D Lynch, R O'Toole (0-1), L Dolan (0-1); L Loughlin, J Heslin (0-2), A Gardiner (0-2).

Subs: S Baker for Loughlin, S Allen for Giles (both h-t), K Martin for Dolan (51 mins), TJ Cox (0-1) for Gardiner (60), R Forde for O'Toole (69).

LONGFORD: P Collum; P Fox (0-1), A Farrell, B O'Farrell; J Moran, E McCormack, I O'Sullivan; R Moffett, D Gallagher (0-3, two frees); J Hagan (0-4, one mark), D Farrell (0-2, two frees), M Quinn; J Matthews (0-2), M Hughes, J Duggan (0-1, free).

Subs: K McGann (0-1) for Moffett (43 mins), A McGuire for Hughes (47), O Kenny for Matthews (64), D Doherty for Duggan (66), K Diffly for Gallagher (69).

Referee: B Tiernan (Dublin).