Leinster Junior Football Championship Quarter-Final
Cavan . . . . . . 1 – 12 Longford . . . . . . 2 – 6
Padraic O’Brien reporting from Pearse Park
Despite conceding a couple of gift goals, a strong Cavan second string eventually got the better of Longford in the Leinster Junior Football Championship quarter-final at a near deserted Pearse Park on Wednesday evening in advancing to meet Kilkenny in the last four.
A sparse attendance in the region of 150 gathered in the cold weather to watch this local derby and while Cavan were the superior side they almost had victory snatched from their grasp in stoppage time when understrength Longford nearly scored a dramatic winning goal.
After James Noonan had a shot blocked down in his attempt to find the back of the net, a close range free was awarded to the home county and up stepped Enda Ledwith to blast the kick against the crossbar and the danger was eventually cleared.
Just two points separated the sides at that stage and while it was a lucky escape for Cavan who launched an immediate counter-attack with substitute Ryan McCormack shooting over the bar, the visitors deserved their hard-earned victory over the spirited Longford reserves who were forced to field without Niall Mulligan, John Keegan, William Crawford and Fergal Battrim for different reasons.
LONGFORD: James McKenna (Sean Connolly’s); James Carroll (Rathcline), Michael Victory (Mostrim), Aaron Quinn (Fr. Manning Gaels); Colm P Smith (Abbeylara), Mark Duffy (Fr. Manning Gaels), Peter Masterson (Dromard); Gerard Dennigan (Cashel), Johnny Kane (Fr. Manning Gaels); Enda Ledwith (Abbeylara, 1-0), Jamsie Martin (Dromard, 0-1, free), Diarmuid Cooney (Fr. Manning Gaels); Mark McDonnell (Carrickedmond, 1-0), James Noonan (Fr. Manning Gaels, 0-4, all frees), Ciaran Williams (Clonguish).
Subs:- Barry McKeon ( Colmcille, 0-1) for D Cooney (46 mins); Cathal Conefrey (Dromard) for P Masterson (55 mins).
CAVAN: Alan O’Mara; Terry Hyland, Patrick Carroll, James McEnroe; Stephen Jordan (0-1), Fearghal O Flannagain, Michael Brady (0-1); Ray Cullivan, Enda King; Keith Fannin (0-1), Michael Lyng (0-1), Niall Murray (0-2, frees); Gearoid McKiernan (0-1), Jason Reilly (1-2), Anton O’Reilly (0-1).
Subs:- Brendan Fitzpatrick for E King (39 mins); Killian Reilly for P Carroll (46 mins); Declan Meehan (0-1) for N Murray (47 mins); Ryan McCormack (0-1) for M Lyng (55 mins).
Referee: Sean Carroll (Westmeath).