McCormack draws sting at death
Antrim 1-13 Longford 0-16
A last-gasp free from Sean McCormack earned Longford a draw and secured their survival in Division Three of the National Football League while relegating Antrim at Corrigan Park yesterday.
The permutations before the game were simple. Antrim needed to win due to their inferior scoring difference and when CJ McGourty landed a brilliant score six minutes into added time, it looked like the Saffrons were staying up, but there was one last attack in Longford who engineered the free that saved their skin at the death.
This was a highly entertaining match that ebbed and flowed. The game was to change on 50 minutes following a Matthew Fitzpatrick point for Antrim when Longford's Andrew Farrell was shown a second yellow for trailing down Kevin Niblock who was about to finish to the net. A penalty was also awarded and McGourty made no mistake, firing to the corner of the net.
Declan Lynch levelled just after, but scores from Michael Quinn and Smyth restored Longford's lead.
Antrim finally drew level in injury-time through McGourty after they were reduced to 14 after Patrick McCormick was forced off injured with all six substitutes already made.
Antrim needed that winner and six minutes into added time, McGourty curled over what seemed the winner, but Longford still had time and drew that free that saved their Division Three status and broke Antrim hearts.
Antrim: P Healy (0-1); D Lynch (0-2), R McCann (0-1), M Fitzpatrick (0-1), CJ McGourty (1-7, 1 -0 penalty, 0-4 frees), B Bradley (0-1).
Longford: P Collum (0-1 45), B Gilleran (0-1), D Gallagher (0-1), L Connerton (0-1), J McGivney (0-1), B McKeon (0-2); R Smyth (0-4, 3 frees), M Quinn (0-1), S McCormack (0-4, 3 frees).
Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan).