Dolan's goal proves decisive
DIVISION TWO Westmeath 2-7 Longford 1-8:Second-half goals from Kieran Martin and Dessie Dolan proved to be the decisive match-winning scores as Westmeath came from behind in a scrappy local derby played in difficult wet conditions at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.
The narrow margin of just two points separated the sides at the final whistle and with Westmeath also scoring a slender win over Louth in Round One the previous week it is Pat Flanagan’s side who are the current table toppers in Division 2 of the National Football League.
Missing a number of key players including Brian Kavanagh and the Barden brothers Paul and David, Longford had the better of the exchanges in the first half to lead by 1-4 to 0-4 at the break with Sean McCormack firing home a brilliant goal in the 27th minute.
McCormack clocked up a total of 1-7 during the course of the contest, all but a point of their eventual tally, but it was not enough to stop Westmeath coming out on top and the visitors got right back into contention when Kieran Martin scored a well-taken goal in the 45th minute.
That left the sides all square (1-4 to 1-4) and while Longford regained the lead with two points from Mc Cormack (free and play), they conceded a second goal in the 55th minute when Westmeath capitalised on a defensive blunder and Callum McCormack set up Dessie Dolan who made no mistake in finding the back of the net from close range.
Westmeath extended their advantage with a brace of points from John Heslin (frees) in quick succession and while Longford battled back to close the gap to the minimum of margins – thanks to two more points from Sean McCormack (play and free) – time ran out for Glenn Ryan’s side who were guilty of kicking nine wides in the second half and are now facing a tough relegation battle.