National Football League Div. 2A

Gritty Roscommon move into promotion mode National Football League Div. 2A Roscommon 0-15 Longford      0-12 ‘That’s more like it’ was the most common reaction of the big contingent of Roscommon fans in the estimated 5,000 crowd after last Sunday’s crucial NFL Division 2A clash of neighbours Roscommon and Longford at Dr. Hyde Park as the Roscommon team showed a huge appetite for hard work and their determination and tenacity which was largely absent in the league campaign to date this season contributed to this vital win.   After some very poor quality matches in the league this year this was far more like what makes Gaelic Football such an attractive game to watch. A fine day, a big crowd and two committed teams made this a very enjoyable game of league football and it was Roscommon who were the better side in a second half which was played at almost championship pace.   The win puts Roscommon in a good position to grab that vital second spot behind Monaghan which would secure a place in Division 2 of the revamped league next season. Of course that is assuming that John Maughan’s men are capable of beating Leitrim at home on Sunday next and Offaly in Tullamore on Easter Sunday.   Regardless of the outcome of those games this was a much improved performance from Roscommon and the defence in particular can be proud of their second half efforts which saw them hold firm against a very lively Longford attack which threatened right to the final whistle.   Longford were marginally the better team in the opening half and posted their intentions as early as the first minute when David Barden crashed the ball against the Roscommon crossbar – when the defence failed to clear properly Brian Kavanagh clipped over a good point from play.   Kevin Smith pointed a free in the 4th minute before Seamus O’Neill (who started the game in place of the injured David Casey) scored Roscommon’s first point from close range. Kevin Smith was again on target for the Longford men in the 6th minute and from there to half-time it was nip and tuck as the sides exchanged points – Padraig Davis notable for two huge pointed frees from 45 and 60 metres respectively. Meanwhile Ger Heneghan was also beginning to find his range for Roscommon. At half-time Longford led by 0-8 to 0-6.   The Roscommon defence was looking far tighter now and the battle intensified on the resumption as the match turned into a most enjoyable tussle