Saint Patrick's Athletic kicked off their League of Ireland campaign with a tougher than expected win over troubled Longford Town at Flancare Park. Mark Quigley's goals before the mid-point of the first half proved decisive although Longford might have fought back to snatch a draw.
A swift counter-attack after 15 minutes produced Quigley's first goal. After a Longford attack broke down, the Saints surged forward and Quigley fired past Shay Kelly to make it 1-0.
Quigley, who scored just three league goals last year, netted his second of the night in the 23rd minute, firing home after good build-up play from Keith Fahey and Longford old-boy Alan Kirby.
However, the two goal deficit shook Longford into action and Dave Mooney turned the ball home just seconds later to make it 2-1. Former Saint David Freeman had been the creator of the goal.
The Dublin side shaded the remainder of the game without netting a decisive third. Gary O'Neill clipped the woodwork late on but Pats keeper Barry Ryan was forced to save well from Mooney in stoppage time.