NHL 3B FINAL: Sligo 3-10 v Longford 2-15

The Sligo hurlers arrived in Bekan with a 100% record in the league unfortunately Longford got revenge for last weeks defeat to win the league final. On a day of extreme weather swings with hail and sleet followed by sun, a very strong crossfield wind made shooting for scores a lottery. Longford got off to a flyer with early scores. Joe Starr responded for Sligo after being well blocked for a goal attempt earlier. Gerard O’Kelly Lynch, provided a second from a long range free but then Longford though David Buckley scored an outstanding individual goal. Sligo hung in and scored 2 points from frees by Eoin Comerford and O’Kelly Lynch. We were fortunate to turn over trailing 1-5 v 0-4.

Kevin Gilmartin got an early goal but Longford continued to maintain the lead however a Gerard O’Kelly Lynch goal put Sligo in front with 12 to go. Longford responded brillantly with two long range frees. Gilmartin goaled again, with a few minutes again. O’Kelly Lynch was required to score a last minute free to bring the game into extra time with the score of 3-6 v 1-12.

Longford started in quick fire fashion and had 1-1 scored in the first two minutes of the added time. It took Sligo a good time to get up the field but Kevin Banks than struck for a long range point so with 10 minutes to go we trailed 3-8 v 2-14. Sligo went on the attack for the last number of minutes with O’Kelly Lynch going close twice with the second shaving the crossbar. Unfortunately we could not get the decisive score and Longford were crowned champions for 2019.

Scorers for Sligo: Gerard O'Kelly Lynch 1-7 (5fs), Kevin Gilmartin 2-0, Eoin Comerford (f), Kevin Banks and Joe Starr 0-1 each.

LONGFORD: Éanna Daly; Cian McLoughlin, Gerard Moore, Paddy Corcoran; Johnny Casey, Karl Murray, Bart Hanley;Paul Barden, David Buckley; Cian Kavanagh, Cathal Mullane, Reuben Murray; Shane O'Brien, Enda Naughton, John Mulhern.

Subs: Daniel Connell for Mulhern (57), Alan Sorohan for O'Brien (66), John Mulhern for Kavanagh (84), Paul Leonard for Buckley (90).

SLIGO: Kevin Brennan; Tommy Kelly, James Weir, Danny Keown; Gerard O'Kelly Lynch, Liam Reidy, Kevin Banks; Ronan Cox, Brian Shannon; Gary Cadden, Kieran Prior, Eoin Comerford; Kevin O'Kennedy, Kevin Gilmartin, Joe Starr.

Subs: Tony O'Kelly Lynch for Shannon (25-half-time, blood-sub), Tony O'Kelly Lynch for Comerford (half-time), Joe McHugh for Prior (44), Rory McHugh for O'Kennedy (53), Niall McDermott for Kelly (77), Kieran Prior for Cadden (83)



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