James Guinness the cream of Down as late goal sinks Longford

69th minute strike proves the difference in a tight Division Three clash at Páirc Esler

Paddy Tally’s Down side beat Longford late on in Newry. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Paddy Tally’s Down side beat Longford late on in Newry. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Down 2-13 Longford 1-14

A goal from James Guinness in the 69th minute proved to be decisive as Longford suffered their first Division Three defeat in an entertaining encounter in Páirc Esler in Newry.

There was just one point between the sides when Guinness found the back of the net. Longford replied with two points (one free) from Daniel Mimnagh but it was too little too late for Padraic Davis’s charges.

Down looked dangerous in the opening half but it was Longford’s Peter Lynn who opened the scoring inside the first minute. The sides were level six times in the first half.

Longford keeper Paddy Collum pulled off a superb save to deny the impressive Liam Kerr in first half stoppage time, but points from him and Barry O’Hagan gave the home side a two point lead at the break - 0-09 to 0-07.

Down dictated the early stages of the second half and went four points ahead in the 50th minute. Longford though were back in the game three minutes later when Michael Quinn set up Liam Connerton and he palmed the ball into the net.

Dessie Reynolds levelled matter before a superb point from the excellent Darren Gallagher put Longford ahead in the 54th minute. He then pointed a free to put two between the sides.

Down levelled matters in the 63rd minute before a goal from Cory Quinn edged Down back in front. Longford tried hard to get back into the game but James Guinness ended their brave comeback with a goal in the 69th.

Down: R Burns; S Annett, P Murdock, R McAleenan; G Collins, D O’Hagan (0-1), B McArdle; J Flynn (0-2), D Guinness; B O’Hagan (0-3, two frees), K McKernan (0-1), L Kerr (0-2); D O’Hare (0-2, one free), A Morgan, C Quinn (1-2). Subs: P Fegan for Annett (25 min), J Guinness (1-0) for Collins (51), O McCabe for Morgan (56), C Doherty for McKernan (59), N Donnelly for Quinn (72).

Longford: P Collum (0-2, two frees); P Fox, A Farrell, B O’Farrell; I O’Sullivan, G Rogers, CP. Smyth; D Gallagher (0-5, three frees), K Diffley; M Quinn, D McElligott, D Reynolds (0-1); P Lynn (0-2), L Connerton (1-1), O Kenny. Subs: D Doherty for Lynn (23 min), D Mimnagh (0-3, two frees) for Smyth (53), J Hagan for Connerton (63).

Referee: C Reilly (Meath).

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