FINAL heartache was the lot for the second consecutive year as the Donegal hurlers saw their hopes of winning the tier three hurling title dashed in emphatic fashion.
In 2009, the men from the north-west lost to their rivals from Tyrone in dramatic circumstances. But there was little doubt about the outcome on this occasion against their Leinster opponents.
The dismissal of team captain, Colm Breathnach, for a second yellow dealt them an unwelcome early blow. As a result, Longford held most of the aces and led by 0-12 to 0-7 at half-time.
A five point deficit gave Donegal plenty to work on and they emerged for the second half in determined fashion.
Paul O’Brien helped inspire them when he saved a David Tanner penalty and a goal from Lee Henderson at the other end further boosted their confidence.
The deficit was eventually cut to two points as Danny Cullen, Michael McCann and Niall and Kevin Campbell also worked hard for the Ulster side.
However, a goal from Garrett Ghee handed the initiative back to Longford and they dominated the closing stages to emerge winners with those eight points to spare.
It was a big disappointment for Donegal on their latest outing at headquarters, but their day would eventually come when the pain of this defeat was erased.