Match Report by Tony Ghee
Longford Town booked their place in the promotion play-off final against the ninth placed team of the Premier Division with a two-one victory over Galway Utd at Belfield Bowl, as goals from Karl Chambers and Aodh Dervin gave Daire Doyle's charges a second play-off triumph.
The Town started well and had the first chance on seven minutes. Aaron McNally cut inside from the left and let fly with a crisp, low shot from twenty-five yards, that produced a sharp save from Galway keeper Michael Schlingerman.
Longford almost broke the deadlock in spectacular fashion on the quarter-hour mark. Town centre-half Mick McDonnell played a clever ball to the feet of Dylan Grimes, he unleashed a thirty-five yard thunderbolt that rocketed past Galway keeper Schlingerman only to come crashing back off the crossbar.
Five minutes later, another long range Town effort, this time from Aodh Dervin, whistled narrowly wide of the Galway post.
Longford Town deservedly took the lead in the forty-third minute with a brilliant flowing move.
After several passes, Dervin played a super ball to Rob Manley, he ran at the Galway defence and then spread the ball out wide to McNally on the left, and his deflected cross wrong footed keeper Schlingerman, but the Galway stopper still should have gathered the ball, however, he could only palm the ball to Karl Chambers at the back post and the Town's longest serving player tapped home.
Galway created a chance on fifty-one minutes when tenacious play from Mikey Plaice set-up substitute Conor Barry, but he pulled his twenty-two yard shot wide.
The Town created the next opportunity on fifty-six minutes when Rob Manley slalomed passed three Galway defenders before playing the ball across to the inrushing McNally, but he blazed his shot well over the Galway bar.
Galway midfielder Sam Warde hit a good long range strike in the seventy-fourth minute that narrowly cleared the Town crossbar.
Longford Town seamed to have sealed the victory on eighty-one minutes with a brilliant strike from Dervin. Grimes played a magnificent pass through the legs of a Galway player into the path of Dervin and the Teffia Park man fired home from thirty yards past Schlingerman.
However, a heart stopping finale was gauranteed when Galway won a throw on the right and Shane Duggan collected the ball and he whipped in a dangerous cross that was headed home by Galway substitute Vinny Faherty.
Longford Town (3-4-2-1): Steacy, McDonnell, Gorman, Joe Manley, Elworthy, Zambra, Dervin, McNally, Grimes, Chambers, Rob Manley.
Substitutes: O'Brien for Chambers (73 minutes), Barnes for McNally, Hand for Grimes (86 minutes)
Galway Utd: (4-3-3): Schlingerman, Lynch, Nugent, Brouder, Ludden, Warde, Molloy, Duggan, Plaice, Curran, Doherty.
Substitutes: Waweru for Curran (half-time), Barry for Molloy (half-time), Ubaezuonu for Plaice (54 minutes), Lombato for Doherty (79 minutes), Faherty for Warde (85 minutes).
Man of the Match: Aodh Dervin
Referee: Mark Moynihan