Longwood suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of Kilmessan in Round 4 of this year’s Senior Hurling Championship.
It had all started so well for Longwood, they dominated the opening skirmishes, winning the breaking ball and showing the hunger that had been evident in their previous game against Killyon. Despite playing against the breeze, the scores followed; two Anthony Healy frees were backed up by points from Ryan Moore and Billy Hogan so leave Longwood with a 0-4 to 0-0 lead after just 10 minutes.
But Kilmessan are an experienced outfit and they settled into the game and three quick-fire points had reduced the margin to a solitary point at the first water break.
Another three-point burst saw Kilmessan push two points clear, and they were now in the ascendancy. Both teams were guilty of some wayward shooting, opting for pot-shots from distance when working the ball closer to goal may have been the wiser option. A case in point, Anthony Healy declined a shot from range, instead picking out the advancing Ryan Moore with a pin-point pass and Moore steered the ball between the posts to leave Longwood trailing by just the minimum at half time.
Half-time: Kilmessan 0-6 Longwood 0-5
From the restart, Kilmessan drove forward and within seconds had buried the ball in the Longwood net. To Longwood’s credit, they responded well and traded points with their opponent over the following ten minutes, getting the deficit back to just one point on two occasions. They scored some excellent points in this period, the highlight being a point from the side-line by Karl Ennis.
However, Kilmessan were always able to retain their advantage and a second goal would see them stretch their lead to six points and they maintained the lead to the final whistle.
Full-time: Kilmessan 2-15 Longwood 0-14
Longwood: Mark Kennedy, Johnny Furey, Niall Mulvey, Ross Kerrigan, Joe Stenson, Mickey Burke (0-1), Paul Gill, Ryan Moore (0-7), Sean Coloe, Billy Hogan (0-1), Damien Healy, Gavin Griffith, Karl Ennis (0-1), Anthony Healy (0-4), Bob Maguire. Subs: Alan O’Toole for Gavin Griffith, Cathal Campbell for Ross Kerrigan, Gavin Griffith for Bob Maguire
So Longwood move on to the final group game against Blackhall Gaels knowing that nothing short of victory will give them a chance of retaining their senior status. That should certainly focus the mind.