A large crowd from Longford headed west on Friday night to be part of an even larger crowd at Eamonn Deacy Park on an historic night for the domestic game. Played in front of President Michael D Higgins and a super crowd of over 2,400, this was an excellent advertisement for the First Division.
The terrific atmosphere was added to by a local brass band, two sets of enthusiastic, chanting fans, good weather and high expectations. It was the perfect mix and the game too, exceeded expectations. De Town is 90 this year and Galway FC is just emerging from the labour ward.
But from the first whistle, it was the newly borns who tore into the 90 year olds. Galway wanted to get something from the game and an early goal was the tonic they craved. However, this new look Longford Town side under skipper Stephen Rice settled into the game and slowly imposed themselves on their hosts. Stephen Rice is a joy to behold in the engine room; he leads by example and seems to be in total control.
Many travelling supporters would have settled for a share of the spoils before kick-off but a superbly taken goal by Davy O’Sullivan after 70 minutes, after a lovely through ball from Rhys Gorman was enough to secure all three valuable points. Galway battled right to the final sweet whistle and indeed the entire game moved from end to end with some marvellous football from both sides. But an away win was a fair result; we had more shots on target and Sully was denied twice by some solid Galway netminding.
When that final whistle did sound, the joy and relief on the players' faces showed just how important this win was for all of them. Galway had had an excellent pre-season run and expectations were sky high locally. Eamonn Deacy Park will be a difficult visiting spot for any team and for us to win our first game there was simply a great start to a long, winding season.
CAR BOOT SALE
Make sure to visit our first Car Boot Sale of the 2014 season on St Patrick's day at City Calling Stadium 10am -3pm. From a needle to an anchor and maybe even a ship in between, you're sure to find it on this Bank Holiday Monday. Well established now for years, both buyers and sellers travel from all over Ireland to bag a bargain and there are literally bags of bargains available. The wisest come earliest and leave happiest. See you there on Monday and remember you're helping support sport locally.
SHELBOURNE AT HOME
This Saturday night sees our first home game of the season when Shels are our welcome visitors. Already billed as a Top of the Table clash, since both sides have maximum points after one game. Shels are currently sitting pretty at the top of the table because they scored twice in their opening home win against Wexford Youths. It'll be yet another tough encounter with the talented Dublin side keen to make an immediate return to the top flight. Galwegians turned out in their thousands to support their team last Friday night, so hopefully we've have a proportionately large support to welcome Shels to De Town.
Remember to arrive early and avail of a nice cup of tea in the Clubhouse before kick -off. We're expecting a good crowd and it'd be appreciated, if when paying you don't use large notes so that we can be more efficient in serving you.
Before the game in Galway, the Supporters' Club presented President Michael D. Higgins with a club tie. This was the President's first time attending an all First Division game. He was pleasantly surprised to hear that we were 90 years young this year. However we, in turn, were pleasantly surprised with his depth of knowledge of our team, when he noted our astute signings from Shamrock Rovers. Later he posed for photographs with members of the Club's executive before being clicked with one of our most loyal young supporters Devina Dardis. It was an honour and a privilege for Longford Town to have been part of an historic night and hopefully we'll have an opportunity to welcome our soccer loving President to City Calling Stadium later in the season.
Don't forget to join the Supporters' Club this season. Why? Because the money we raise through Car Boot Sales, raffles, cups of teas and coffees etc. etc. helps keep the show on the road. We also provide end of month and end of season trophies as well as keeping supporters at home and away up to date with happenings on and off the pitch. Every year sees new signings on the pitch...this season we'd like to see a few more signings in the Clubhouse. So, how's about you....why not join us?
The support over in Galway was simply magnificent with Section O kicking off the new season in some style. The mini bus was left behind and instead a luxury coach was filled to the brim with happy, clappy, singing supporters. Right throughout the game, the singing, chanting, drumming and witticisms flowed like wine at a feast in Kenagh. It was nice touch of Sully then to score in front of his adoring fans and to celebrate within camera phone distance. Long may it continue.