Longford Town FC are Division 1 champions for 2014 following an emphatic 5-0 crushing of Shamrock Rovers on Friday night last. For any long suffering Town fan, that opening sentence is probably the sweetest sentence we'll read all year. All week there was a marvellous build up and it was great to experience a bit of a buzz back in the town. The red and black flags were flying from houses, cars, schools and even the council offices. Social media had turned red and black at times too.
Despite the incessant Friday rain, a huge crowd of over 2,000 headed to the City Calling Stadium where everything was in place for an historic night for Longford sport. Expectations were sky high and a few wondered if we weren't counting chickens before their due date.
Earlier in the day, Longford took to the streets for St Christopher's and so it was fitting that the large crowd had a minute of applause in support of their worthy cause.
With Section O fielding their largest grouping ever and with the stand bursting at the seams, the scene was set.
Tony Cousins men set out their stall within seconds. With all guns blazing, it was an all out attack on the famous Dubliners. Gary Shaw was first off the mark and had the ball in the back of the net within four minutes to settled some edgy nerves. Even before the half hour mark, we were in dreamland with further goals from Don Cowan and Gary Shaw again. The CCS was truly rocking in a cauldron of noise.
The Clubhouse volunteers were under severe pressure at half time but no one left without a cuppa and a smile. Don Cowan didn't wait for us to tidy up and had scored goal number four before we had washed the cups. And then it was our historic goal getter David O Sullivan who added yet again to his incredible tally with the fifth and final goal on the historic night.
There was a fabulous carnival atmosphere right throughout the game but when the final whistle sounded, it was the signal for the party to begin in earnest. With ecstatic fans swarming over the pitch, bottles of champagne suddenly appeared magically and with exuberant players expertly popping corks, the hallowed turf resembled a dancing and hugging competition.
Meanwhile the stewards had prepared an area in front of the stand where the medals and Cup were presented in front of an adoring, heaving, singing mass of red and black. It was truly an historic occasion to savour.
We've had wonderfully happy nights before but this was really special. Our first league title and to have won it in such an emphatic, professional manner and in front of our huge home crowd.Try as it may, the rain couldn't dampen our reign. The party had just begun and in some places, it's still going on. Because it doesn't happen so often, it's worth repeating....yes, we are the Champions. C'mon De Town.
AWAY TO FINN HARPS
We travel north to Finn Park on Sunday next as Champions which has a real warm feel to it.We can relax and enjoy the final game of a long, tough but successful season. Some are planning on making a week end of it but even though, the outcome is of no importance, there will be a large support .If you haven't already booked your seat, call Kieran now on 083 167 0304.
For a small town, the support shown to De Town has been extraordinary. All sorts of businesses have helped out, Section O have been truly phenomenal all season, messages of support have been sent from literally all over the world; behind the all conquering team there's an even larger team of unseen, hard working, passionate and dedicated team of volunteers. Both social and local media played a significant role in our successful season. More than a few also pointed to the fact that Heaven now has a huge Town fan base, both young and old .We may be a small town with a small club but that doesn't stop us from being fiercely proud.
The Club is 90 years on the go this year and hopefully there will be a red and black birthday cake for our Red and Black gala awards night in late November. And for those who dared to dream of a League title, Promotion and a Leinster Senior League Cup final appearance in that 90th year, well dreams do really come true sometimes.
TEA TIME SURPRISE
We've had little or no coverage all season from the national media outlets .So a Saturday evening surprise was all the more welcome. Not only did RTE show one of our five winning goals on their sports section following the Six One News, but they also featured Sammo receiving the trophy and then as an added surprise, Tony Cousins was interviewed. It all went down well with the traditional Longford tea of a crusty Whelan's batch loaf and jam washed down with a mug of strong tea !
CAR BOOT SALE
The winning buzz might still be ringing in our ears, but the ordinary, mundane stuff still has to happen. Don't forget our final Car Boot Sale of the season will be on the October bank holiday Monday in the CCS Car Park. If you have the time to volunteer, please let Liam Healion know.