The final scoreline was harsh on Offaly in Pearse Park in Longford last Sunday but over the 70 minutes there is no doubt that the home side were deserving of their win in this league opener.
For 45 minutes an understrength Offaly were certainly competitive. At that juncture they only trailed by three points and were in the ascendancy but in the final 25 minutes they only added one further point while Longford ran up the score at their ease as the visitors essentially collapsed.
It was alarming to see the drop off from Offaly in the closing minutes and that dent in their score difference could yet come back to haunt them. It may be that the sides are at different levels in terms of fitness as Longford seemed to come on strong as Offaly faded but that could also be explained by a brittle confidence for the visitors that has taken a pounding in recent years.
Whatever the reason, Offaly will have to bounce back next week as a second defeat in this division would leave them a daunting mountain to climb.
See this week’s Offaly Expresss for full report and reaction from Offaly manager Gerry Cooney