Longford young guns on fire in win over Carlow




Liam Connerton pictured in action for Longford against Carlow.  Photo: Declan Gilmore

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers - Round 1A

Longford . . . . . 2-15 Carlow . . . . . 1-8

Young guns Dessie Reynolds and Liam Connerton, making their first start for the county seniors in the championship, were on fire as Longford conquered Carlow to book their place in Round 2A of the All-Ireland Qualifiers.

U-21s Reynolds and Connerton shot the crucial goals in the 48th and 50th minutes as Longford gradually asserted their superiority to lead by 2-8 to 1-6 with Daryl Roberts hitting the net for Carlow in between as a dull game finally burst into life.

With the pressure lifted, Jack Sheedy’s side clocked up seven more points through Brian Kavanagh (two frees), Diarmuid Masterson, Dessie Reynolds, Michael Quinn, Fergal Battrim and Ronan McEntire to run out easy winners in the finish.

But the first half was a torrid affair with Longford having to settle for a slender 0-7 to 0-4 lead at the break with the scores coming from Brian Kavanagh (4), Liam Connerton (2) and Diarmuid Masterson.

Carlow managed to remain in contention thanks to a point-blank save from their keeper Robbie Molloy to deny Connerton while Longford had another great goal chance in first half stoppage time when a shot from Rory Connor was cleared off the line by Darragh Foley.

But with the advantage of the wind in the second half Longford were still in a good position and they ended up outscoring Carlow 2-8 to 1-4 during the remainder of the game.

LONGFORD: Paddy Collum (Fr Manning Gaels); Dermot Brady (Longford Slashers, captain), Barry O’Farrell (Carrickedmond), Fergal Battrim (Abbeylara, 0-1); Colm P Smyth (Abbeylara), Barry Gilleran (Longford Slashers), Diarmuid Masterson (Dromard, 0-2); Michael Quinn (Killoe Emmet Og, 0-1), Kevin Diffley (Ballymahon); Peter Foy (Longford Slashers), Dessie Reynolds (Sean Connolly’s, 1-1), Ronan McEntire (Dromard, 0-1); Liam Connerton (Rathcline, 1-2), Brian Kavanagh (Kilmacud Crokes, 0-7, six frees), Rory Connor (Kenagh).

Subs:- Padraig Gill (Fr. Manning Gaels) for P Foy (46 mins); Thomas Gallagher (St Mary’s Granard) for D Masterson (60 mins); Ross McNerney (Dromard) for D Reynolds (65 mins); Conor Quaine (Legan Sarsfields) for B Kavanagh (68 mins); Andrew Farrell (Cashel) for B Gilleran (70 mins).

CARLOW: Robbie Molloy; Declan Kelly, Shane Redmond, Kieran Nolan; Graham Power (0-1), Daniel St Ledger (0-1, free), Benny Kavanagh; Sean Gannon (0-1), Eoghan Ruth; Michael Meaney (0-1), Darragh Foley, David Bambrick (0-1); Brian Murphy (0-3, two frees), Derek Hayden, Daryl Roberts (1-0).

Subs:- Danny Moran for D Kelly (21 mins); Ciaran Moran for D Bambrick (55 mins); Ed Finnegan for M Meaney (60 mins); Darragh O’Brien for D Roberts (63 mins); Alan Kelly for E Ruth (67 mins); Mark Fitzgerald for B Kavanagh (69 mins).

Referee: David Gough (Meath).