Longford will play Division 4 football next season following a lacklustre affair at Páirc Esler in Newry where the hosts Down pulled away in the finish to win by five points.A combination of Liam Kerr's 67th-minute penalty and Pat Havern’s three second-half points were enough to relegate this season's O’Byrne Cup winners with a round to spare.Paddy Christie’s side whimpered down a division and will play in the bottom rung of the Allianz League for the first time since 2015 with the visitors ending the game with 14 men after Joe Hagan received his marching orders with five minutes to play.With results elsewhere impacting Down’s promotion chances long before throw-in, the hosts laboured into the contest along with a doomed Longford.Mourne wing-forward Liam Kerr took the smaller than usual crowd out of its slumber with an early free.
Then unfortunately, Mark Walsh suffered a serious injury and had to be stretchered off with the utmost of caution after a long delay.With the game restarting in effect, Longford took their chance at the second time of asking.
Dessie Reynolds and Dylan Farrell shooting them into an unlikely lead.One of eight Kilcoo men on the panel, Ryan Johnston burst through from right half-back to level the game.Midway through the half neither side could separate themselves from each other.
In fact, they would find themselves tied on three more occasions. Michael Ireland and Pat Havern gave Down the slight advantage but Michael Quinn and Oran Kenny duly pulled the sides back to parity.Mourne manager Conor Laverty was forced to play full-forward Havern in the middle of the field, and he revelled in the open space especially when shooting from long range.That Havern injection along with the excellent MícealRead more on rte.ie