CONVINCING CUP WIN
There's just something about Athlone that seems to draw a huge LTFC support when we're playing over there. Last Friday night was no exception when hundreds of Longford Town fans attended the Cup game against our Premier Division neighbours.
The game was preceded by a minute's silence in respect of the late Mickey Reilly, our esteemed Vice President. But as soon as the whistle sounded, the battle began. From the early stages, it was clear that Tony Cousins didn't want a replay on Tuesday night. We were playing the better football and at times you'd wonder which side was in the Premier group. Don Cowan was scaring the living daylights out of the host defenders and it's still a mystery as to why he wasn't awarded a penalty when upended in the box. The same player should have done better when cutting in he drove a pile driver wide of the target to send us in at half time nil all.
For those who didn't travel, their tea/coffee prices are double what we charge in our Clubhouse. Although our hosts improved a little in the second half, Paul Hunt was really only threatened once in the entire game. Yet despite our dominance, it looked like a share of the spoils was on the cards until Sully found the back of the net with a flying header after a super Mulhall cross. About 90 seconds later Sully was brought down as he advanced with menance on goal and man of the match Mark Salmon made no mistake from the spot kick despite the antics of the Athlone keeper. The relief in the stand was palable and well caught on video by Avril Gilchrist. David O Sullivan almost added another when having rounded the keeper, his shot was cleared off the line .
Overall it was a convincing win against a side which recently had improved their performances. The drive home was short and sweet.
FINN HARPS AWAY
If you're superstitious, then the game against Finn Harps is especially for you. We head to Donegal on Friday 13th June when a full moon should add further to the atmosphere up in the north west. Section O are running a bus , so contact Kieran on 083 167 0304 as soon as possible as places are filling quickly. It's going to be an other tough encounter but then aren't they all. At least we have a full week of preperation and were spared a Tuesday night replay. After that, we have a break till the mouth watering clash against Galway at home on June 27th.Before that though, it's Friday 13th when we hope we won't be part of a horror show.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH/MAY
There were nominations for a wide variety of players for the May Player of the Month award. However there was no need for a recount as David O'Sullivan emerged as the clear winner, no doubt helped by the bagful of goals he netted during the month. Sully will be presented with his trophy before the next home match.
MICKEY “ SPIV” REILLY RIP
It was with great sadness and deep regret that we reported the passing of Michael Reilly or Mickey Spiv last week. Mickey, of course was the Club's esteemed Vice President and who during his long life had been actively incolved in the Club at all levels.
Mickey was the same age as the Club itself and being involved meant a great deal to the popular local man. Coming from a family with a strong military tradition, it was no surprise that the happy, smiling Mickey enlisted and saw active service in North Africa, Sicily and Italy during World War 2. At one stage, he was missing in action, presumed dead and his death was read off the altar in St Mel's Cathedral only for the same priest to officiate at this wedding a number of years later. Longford became his home again where he was a greatly respected when working with the Council and with his beloved Longford Town. In a fitting tribute the local ONE branch made Mickey an honoury member, which is to their credit. In the latter years, they stood shoulder to shoulder and soldier to soldier. This was particularly evident at the memorial service on the Market Square on Nov 11th, 2012.
On Sunday last, following a moving and emotional Mass, his Longford Town FC friends formed a Guard of Honour as the heavens fired a 21 gun salute in the form of rolling thunder. It was a fitting tribute to a genuine Longford legend, a lovely gentleman and polular with all who had the privilege of knowing him. Films have been made of lesser men. To his wife, family and wide circle of friends, we conveydeepest and sincere sympathies. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.
NOEL NOLAN MEMORIAL MATCH
On this Saturday June 14th at 5.00pm in the City Calling Stadium, there will be a memorial match to remember the late Noel Nolan with all proceeds going to the Irish Cancer Society. Organised by his many friends in Legan, the match will be between Legan Sarsfields and Legan Sunbursts. Afterwards, there will be post match entertainment in the Hill,Carrickboy where the players will be be available to pose for photographs and sign autographs ( those still standing anyway). The craic starts at 9pm in Carrickboy and will continue till late.
Noel Nolan, though a Dub by birth, was a true Town fan who travelled allover the land supporting the red and black. When in failing health, he attended games in his wheel chair decked out in the club colours. And later on again, when confined to bed, he never missed a game with the help of Shannonside radio and afterwards the match reports on all the papers. He was truly a great man and Town supporter and this event is for a great cause, so see you there.