Division 3 North: Derry ease past Longford
By Aidan Delaney
Swathes of the country have been on tenterhooks for the return of inter county football this week but the Longford people will feel like they still haven’t seen their team. Rory Gallagher’s Derry side came to Pearse Park and left without really breaking a sweat as they look ahead to some tougher tests coming up.
To be fair to both sides, the gods decided today was not the day for free flowing football. The rain pounded down as this game turned into free taking practice from Oakleafer stars Shane McGuigan and Niall Loughlin who finished with 0-13 between them.
The home side took the early lead after a placed ball from their captain Darren Gallagher but in truth, that was as good as their day got. Conor Glass and the aforementioned Mcguigan and Loughlin put the visitors 0-3 to 0-1 in front after 10 minutes.
A Daniel Mimnagh point kept the hosts in touch before Derry hit the post twice with Conor Glass finally doubling the advantage 0-4 to 0-2 after 20 minutes.
The difference here was mainly in the tackling, while Derry hassled and harried, Longford couldn’t stay the right side of the referee. Frees from McGuigan and Loughlin meant the away side had a 6 point lead at the break. 0-8 to 0-2
Any chance this game had of being a contest was ended on 40 minutes. Emmet Bradley looking good on the day got the first of his 3 points following a black card for Dave McGivney of Longford.
It was then a case of not who would win but by how much. The wet conditions made it hard to stop the Derry runners and their two free takers gobbled up the chances to add to the tally. Derry pushing on to 0-15 to 0-2 with 50 minutes gone.
The ulster men threatened to raise green flags but they seemed happy enough with the white ones as McGuigan and Bradley fired over from close range.
Longford did improve as the half went on but the game was well out of sight by then. Gallagher and Larry Moran scored well but they were too infrequent to make a difference.
Overall Derry will be happy that they didn’t take their foot off the gas. They welcome Fermanagh in 7 days time while Longford need to put this behind them quickly and focus on the task of the ulster champions Cavan next weekend.
Longford: Darren Gallagher 0-3, Daniel Mimnagh and Larry Moran 0-1 each
Derry: Shane McGuigan 0-7, Niall Loughlin 0-6, Emmett Bradley 0-3 Conor Glass 0-2 Padraig Cassidy, Ciaran McFaul and Ben McCarron 0-1 each
Longford team: Paddy Colum, Patrick Fox, Andrew Farrell, Colm P Smyth, Dessie Reynolds, Gary Rogers, Daniel Mimnagh, Dave McGivney, Kevin Diffley, Darragh Gallagher (c), Rian Brady, Micky Quinn, Robbie Smyth, Liam Connerton, Oran Kenny
Derry: Oran Lynch, Chrissy McKaigue (c), Brendan Rogers, Padraig McGrogan, Padraig Cassidy, Gareth McKinless, Conor Doherty, Conor Glass, Emmett Bradley, Ethan Doherty, Niall Loughlin, Ciaran McFaul, Benny Heron, Shane McGuigan, Paul Cassidy