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Airtricity First Division: Matchday One - Cobh Ramblers mark League of Ireland return with convincing win

Airtricity First Division: Matchday One - Cobh Ramblers mark League of Ireland return with convincing win

Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

After failing to achieve promotion to the top flight in 2012, Longford Town kicked off 2013 in style, while Cobh Ramblers scored five in their League of Ireland return


Salthill Devon 0-5 Longford Town

Longford Town put a disappointing pre-season behind them with an emphatic 5-0 win at Salthill Devon on the opening matchnight of the 2013 Airtricity First Division season. David O'Sullivan was the star man with a terrific second-half performance that simply blew away any hopes of an upset in Galway.

The away side started brightly, scoring the opening goal of the campaign through a deflected Daniel Purdy free-kick in the 11th minute. The rest of the half produced very little opportunity for either side. It was a 10-minute onslaught in the second half that proved the difference.

Debutant Josh O'Hanlon provided an assist for O'Sullivan in the 56th minute. O'Hanlon then added his own with a tap in; this time O'Sullivan returned the favour. O'Sullivan knocked in his second two minutes later and wrapped up his hat-trick late on.

A comfortable away win sets up the season nicely for The Town. Salthill could only field four subs for the fixture. Their lack of resources could be their downfall again this season.

Waterford United 1-1 Finn Harps

Waterford United were left to rue missed chances as they conceded a late equaliser to Finn Harps at the RSC.

The half-time substitution of Sean McCarron proved the game changer as he grabbed a late equaliser to cancel out Ben Ryan's earlier strike.

Ryan opened the scoring on 19 minutes with a strong header past Gallagher. Finn Harps piled on the pressure in the dying minutes and almost grabbed a winner through a long-distance Kevin McHugh free-kick. A manic last couple of minutes also included a straight red card for Finn Harps midfielder Thomas McBride. 

Waterford looked comfortable through out the first half, creating chance after chance. The Donegal side's dogged defence held on and they grew in confidence as the game went on.

The draw was a deserved result for Finn Harps on the opening night of the season.

Athlone Town 0-0 Mervue United

Athlone Town and Mervue United's opening clash was a  tame affair with neither side creating many goal-scoring opportunities.

The hosts had the better of the first half, but Conor Gleeson did well in the Mervue goal to keep out winger Lee Dixon, who had the only real chance of the first 45 minutes. Mark Hughes had a good chance for Athlone just after the restart, but shot straight at Gleeson.

Late on, Philly Gorman should've done much better with Niall Lanigan's centre, but his header went narrowly over. The former Shelbourne forward was lively throughout and should help Athlone bag a few extra goals this season.

Cobh Ramblers 5-0 Wexford Youths

Cobh Ramblers marked their League of Ireland return with an impressive opening weekened victory over Wexford Youths.

In the league's rain-soaked return to St Coleman's Park, Cobh took a 15th minute lead through striker Conor Meade. The hosts had killed the game off by half-time with three quickfire goals from Alan O'Flynn, Martin Deady, and a second from Meade.

Youths made a couple of changes after half-time, but the conditions halted the flow of the game. Jonathan Spillane added a late goal for Cobh to give their fans a fantastic return to league football.

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