Longford have been relegated to division four of the Allianz league after a 1-19 to 1-14 defeat to Down in Esler Park.
Longford gave it everything but fell short again, having failed to register a win in six Allianz league games.
Liam Kerr opened the scoring for Down with a free after two minutes. Mark Walsh suffered a nasty leg injury which saw the game delayed for some 10 minutes due to medical treatment.
Dessie Reynolds equalised on the resumption with Dylan Farrell putting Longford ahead minutes later. Ryan Johnstone and Jeorme Johnstone put Down back in-front.
A good scoring run saw Oran Kenny (Longford), Pat Havern (Down) and Mickey Quinn (Longford) exchange scores.
Down Tagged on three points in-a-row through Ruairi McCormack, Pat Heffernan and Miceal Rooney as the game entered 10 minutes of injury time.
The game swung in Longford’s favour four minutes into the additional time. Dessie Reynolds big ball into the box was flicked to the net by a Down hand. Longford leading 1-5 to seven points.
Liam Kerr quickly equalised before Rooney and Oran Kenny exchanged scores as the sides went in level at half-time, 1-6 to nine points.
The second-half exploded into action as Liam Kerr fisted a point for Down. Longford responded with a Jack Macken point and a Dylan Farrell free.
Liam Kerr equalised for Down with Jeorme Johnstone putting the hosts ahead. Dylan Farrell equalised nearly immediately.
Two Pat Havern points put Down two clear on 50 minutes, 14 points to 1-9. Farrell made it a one point game with a free four minutes later.
Pat Havern restored the two point cushion before Farrell sent over another point two minutes later. Dylan Farrell brough it back to a one point game before Down took control.
A Kerr free and a Johstone point made it a three point game.
The game went away from Longford when Joseph Hagan saw red having fouled a Down player in the box.
Kerr’s penalty appeared to be saved by Longford goalie Paddy Column but after a debate the umpire raised a green flag to make it 1-17 to 1-12.
Longford never gave up with Daire O’Brien and Keelin McCann kicking points, however Down added scores through Ryan Johstone and Eamon Browne to seal the five point win.
Longford will play Allianz league division four football in 2024.