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Division 2 FL: Wins for Derry and Westmeath

Unplayable pitches in Drogheda and Armagh meant that only two matches survived in Division 2. Derry and Westmeath earned vital victories.

 Derry's Eoin Bradley and Laois' Damien O'Connor and Denis Booth.
Derry's Eoin Bradley and Laois' Damien O'Connor and Denis Booth.
Image: INPHO/Presseye/Lorcan Doherty

Derry 1-17
Laois 2-11

This was a critical game for a youthful Derry outfit, who posted an important win at Celtic Park.

Laois had been highly impressive when defeating Armagh and they went north hopeful of making another positive impression, but Derry were primed for a battle.

Confident initially Laois were efficient in the opening period as goals from Ross Munnelly and Damien O’Connor had them 2-7 to 0-9 ahead at the interval.

Derry, though, improved in the second half with Eoin Bradley a menacing threat inside and slowly, but surely they clawed their way back.

There was a drop of controversy too when Munnelly had an effort waved wide with Laois feeling that a point should have been awarded.

An Emmet McGuckin goal injected momentum into Derry’s challenge and Brian McIver’s team survived despite the late dismissal of James Kielt, who had been useful up front.

Scorers for Derry: Emmett McGuckin (1-3, 2fs), Eoin Bradley (0-5, 3fs), James Kielt (0-3, 1f), Ryan Ferris (0-2), PJ McCloskey (0-1), Dermot McBride (0-1), Enda Lynn (0-1), Mark Lynch (0-1)
Scorers for Laois: Ross Munnelly (1-4, 2fs), Gary Walsh (0-3, 3fs), Damien O’Connor (1-0), Conor Boyle (0-1), Padraig McMahon (0-1), Darren Strong (0-1), Colm Kelly (0-1).

Derry: Thomas Mallon; Ryan Ferris, Dermot McBride, Charlie Kielt; Chrissy McKaigue, Mark Lynch, Sean Leo McGoldrick; Patsy Bradley, PJ McCloskey; Barry McGoldrick, Enda Lynn, James Kielt; Colin Devlin, Emmett McGuckin. Eoin Bradley.

Subs: Raymond Wilkinson for B McGoldrick (50 mins), Barry Heron for Ferris (53), Danny Heavron for Devlin (64).

Laois: Eoin Culliton; Cahir Healy, Kevin Meaney, Peter O’Leary; Darren Strong, John O’Loughlin, Conor Boyle; Brendan Quigley, Colm Begley; Ross Munnelly, Gary Walsh, Billy Sheehan; Damien O’Connor, Padraig Clancy, Ambrose Doran.

Subs: Denis Booth for Healy (33), Colm Kelly for Doran (36), Padraig McMahon for Walsh (49), Colm Coss for Sheehan (59).

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)

**********

Westmeath 2-7

Longford 1-8

Dessie Dolan blasted the decisive goal as Westmeath claimed another narrow success at Pearse Park.

Only 926 spectators braved the inclement weather for the midlands derby that was decided by a flash of smooth Dolan opportunism.

Longford shaded the first half and led at the break by 1-4 to 0-4 as Seanie McCormack notched a splendid goal.

But Westmeath were all honest aggression after the restart with Kieran Martin restoring parity in the 44th minute with a goal.

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Then on 56 Callum McCormack, continuing to impress for Westmeath, crafted space for Dolan, who confidently drilled a right footed shot into the bottom corner.

John Heslin added two more frees as Westmeath went 2-6 to 1-6 clear, but Longford came thundering back again.

Inevitably Seanie McCormack was central to the revival as the Longford talisman brought them to within a point before Heslin hit an insurance score for Westmeath.

Scorers for Westmeath: John Heslin (0-4, 4fs), Kieran Martin (1-0), Dessie Dolan (1-0), Callum McCormack (0-2), Denis Cooroon (0-1).
Scorers for Longford: Seanie McCormack (1-7, 5fs), Robbie Smyth (0-1).

Westmeath: Gary Connaughton; Kevin McGuire, Kieran Gavin, Mark McCallon; Michael Curley, Paul Sharry, James Dolan; Denis Cooroon, John Heslin; Kieran Martin, Callum McCormack, Ger Egan; Ronan Foley, Dessie Dolan, Denis Glennon.

Subs: Paul Bannon for Foley (55), Darragh Daly for Cooroon (58), Damian Dolan for Martin (64).

Longford: Damien Sheridan; Dermot Brady, Barry Gilleran, Peter Foy; Kevin Diffley, Michael Quinn, Shane Mulligan; John Keegan, Michael Brady; Bernard McElvanney, Donal McElligott, Padraig McCormack; Francis McGee, Robbie Smyth, Seanie McCormack.

Subs: Paul Kelly for P McCormack (58).

Referee: David Gough (Meath).

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