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Longford U 21's

posted 6 Mar 2014, 04:06 by Rathcline Public Relations Officer

Longford Progress to Leinster U21 Football Semi-Final

Congrats to all involved in the Longford U 21's, and especially our own club man Liam Connerton, who had an outstanding game, scoring 1-1, in our win over Laois. Please find match report, and the very best of luck to Liam and the team as they face Dublin in the next round.

Longford 1-13

Laois      1-12   After Extra Time

A gritty and determined performance saw Longford overcome a 6 point deficit to defeat Laois, after extra-time, by the slenderest of margins in their Leinster U21 Quarter-final tie in a wet and windy O’Moore Park.

When Paul Kingston fired over Laois’s 5th point of the game to stretch their lead to 6 in the27th minute it looked like Longford were going to struggle to get back into the game but 1 minute later they pulled a goal back through Liam Connerton and suddenly it was game on.

Even in the early stages of the 2nd half when Laois went 5 in front in the 37th minute Longford didn’t panic and battled hard to give themselves a chance in the game. They could’ve won in normal time but Laois fired over a late free. In extra-time both had chances but Longford stood firm to book their place in the last 4 and earn a meeting with the Dubs.

The home side made a bright start to the game and were 4 points up within the opening 6 minutes thanks to Martin Scully’s goal. Barry McKeon could only reply with a point for Longford before Laois tagged on 2 more points. Rory Connor got Longford’s 2nd point in the 20th minute before Evan Costello and Kingston extended their side’s advantage in the 27thminute. One minute later Longford were right back in the game when Connerton found the back of the net. Robbie Smyth fired over a point on the stroke of half-time to leave Longford trailing by just 2 points.

Despite playing against the wind after the interval Laois made the better start to the 2nd half and were 5 in front in the 37thminute but suddenly Longford began to get a grip on proceedings and 3 fantastic points from Smyth and a James McGivney free brought them to within 1 of Laois in the 46th minute.

When Barry McKeon then levelled the game swung in Longford’s favour, a neat Paddy Kiernan point put them in front for the first time in the 48th minute.

Points were then traded as Longford kept their narrow lead entering the final 2 minutes but right at the end they conceded a free and when something was said the ball was moved in which gave Costello the perfect chance to bring the game to extra-time.

Connerton put Longford ahead inside the opening minute but they were very lucky in the 69th minute when Evan O’Carroll’s stinging effort appeared to be tipped onto the crossbar by Longford keeper Garreth Higgins.

McKeon edged Longford in front by 2 before substitute Alan Farrell cut the gap before half-time in extra-time. The final 10 minutes were nervy as both sides went in search of scores. In the 73rd minute McKeon fired over a fine point before Farrell got his 2nd minutes later. Try as they might Laois couldn’t get the score to force a replay and Longford held out for a meeting with the Dubs in 2 weeks.

Longford: Garreth Higgins; Cian Farrelly, Andrew Farrell, Anthony McBrien; Shane Clarke, Stephen McLoughlin, Conor Shields; Barry McKeon (0-3), James McGivney (0-1,1f); Emmet Noonan, Rory Connor (0-1), Paddy Kiernan (0-1); Andrew Dalton (0-1), Robbie Smyth (0-5,1f), Liam Connerton (1-1)

Subs: Barry O’Farrell for McBrien (35), Ross McNerney for Noonan (54), Daniel Mimnagh for Connor (57), Mattie Gorman for Clarke (70), Podge Gill for McLoughlin (70) 

Laois: Graham Brody; Eoin Feane, Ciaran Lennon, Dan Dunne; Donal Ramsbottom, Mark O’Halloran, Darren Fitzpatrick; Jason Campion, Padraig McEvoy; Eoin George, Evan Costello (0-7,5f), Martin Scully (1-0); Paul Kingston (0-1), Michael Keogh, Evan O’Carroll (0-1).

Subs: Willie Young for Dunne (bc 30), Adam Campion for Campion (ht), Nigel Murphy(0-1) for Scully (42), Alan Farrell (0-2) for George (49), Robbie Dowling for Ramsbottom (52), J Campion for Murphy and Dean Cullen for Young (67), Scully for Feane (75), Young for McEvoy (bc 78)