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London are given new life by Brian

PUBLISHED: 13:14 06 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:19 24 August 2010

By Larry Cooney BRIAN McCormack struck the vital goal six minutes from time as London clung onto their Christy Ring Cup status in Saturday s relegation play-off with Roscommon. The Exiles were made to work hard and, although they eventually saw off a dete

By Larry Cooney

BRIAN McCormack struck the vital goal six minutes from time as London clung onto their Christy Ring Cup status in Saturday's relegation play-off with Roscommon.

The Exiles were made to work hard and, although they eventually saw off a determined Rossies side 3-16 to 3-12, the outcome was very much in the balance until McCormack's goal.

A superb point from a sideline 'cut' by McCormack (pictured) in the first minute appeared to have given London the perfect start - but disaster struck a minute later.

Roscommon centre forward Thomas Reddington took advantage of some poor defending to score and, when Shane Sweeney added two pointed frees in as many minutes, the Rossies were enjoying a 1-2 to 0-1 lead.

The Exiles hit back strongly to dominate the remainder of the opening quarter with two pointed frees from Kevin McMullen and a Mark Mythen point.

McMullen then goaled from a penalty after Seanie Quinn was upended in the small parallelogram, but a David Loughnane goal in the 26th minute brought the Connacht men right back into contention.

Four points were traded between the sides as the half drew to a close, but London midfielder Niall O'Grady beat David Connell from 40 metres deep into added time to give the Exiles a 2-9 to 2-6 advantage.

The second half ebbed and flowed, but Roscommon had their moments - especially in the 57th minute when Michael Keaveney's attempt for a point rebounded off an upright for Reddington to score his second goal.

London refused to panic, though, and Connell saved from McMullen before McCormack made the decisive strike to put some daylight between the sides.

Roscommon never recovered and could only respond with two pointed frees from Sweeney and Reddington, while points from O'Grady and substitute Mark O'Sullivan put the icing on the Exiles' cake.

London: Burke; Heffernan, McLoughlin, Simms; Abernethy, Healy, Mulcahy; McCarthy, O'Grady; McCormack, Quinn, Mythen (Kinlon 48); McMullen, Comerford, McDonnell (O'Sullivan). Scorers: McMullen 1-7(0-5)f,(1-0)pen, McCormack 1-3(0-1)sideline, O'Grady 1-1, McDonnell 0-2, Mythen, O'Sullivan and Comerford 0-1 each.

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