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Longford 1-12 Wexford 0-13

By John Campbell

Longford survived a late onslaught from a feisty Wexford side before eventually claiming the Allianz Football League Division Three crown at Croke Park.

And afterwards manager Glenn Ryan paid a glowing tribute to his team’s tenacity and composure.

“It was great that we hung on,” said the former Kildare player.

“I think we showed a great willingness to work hard and be disciplined.

“I was delighted with the way we approached the final few minutes even though we were on the back foot.

“Our big challenge now is to carry this form into Division Two,” he added.

Longford looked to have projected themselves into an unassailable position by half-time when they led 1-10 to 0-3, Sean McCormack’s six points and sub Paul Kelly’s goal with his first touch just before the break cementing their complete authority.

But Wexford displayed considerable fighting spirit after the break with Redmond Barry and former soccer ace Ciaran Lyng spearheading their revival and keeping them in contention for the win.

Sub Shane Roche too played a part and his brace of points allied to scores from Adrian Flynn, Eric Bradley and the busy Barry helped to take Wexford within three points of their opponents.

But in a tense finish during which the sides traded points the Longford defence held firm, denying Wexford the goal they so desperately needed to tip the scales in their favour.

Wexford: A Masterson; R Tierney, G Molloy, N Murphy; B Malone, D Murphy, A Flynn (0-1); A Shore, D Waters; R Barry (0-3, 1f), C Lyng (0-4, 3f), B Brosnan (0-1); C Morris, E Bradley (0-1), PJ Banville (0-1). Subs: L Chin for N Murphy (20), R Quinlivan for A Shore (45), P Byrne for B Brosnan (45), S Roche (0-2) for C Morris (51), C Carty for E Bradley (70)

Longford: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; C Smyth, M Quinn, S Mulligan; B McElvaney, J Keegan; P McCormack, P Barden (0-3), N Mulligan, D McElligott, B Kavanagh (0-1), S McCormack (0-8, 6f). Subs: P Kelly (1-0) for P McCormack (35), J McGivney for N Mulligan (59), P Foy for J Keegan (68), F McGee for D McElligott (70).

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).

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