Following their shock win over the reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin in the previous round, Longford are now just one step away from reaching the Leinster U-21 Football Championship Final for the second time in the space of three years and find themselves in the unfamiliar role of the favourites in their bid to earn a crack at Kildare or Laois in the midweek provincial title decider on April 3rd.
Wexford, who beat Longford in the Leinster U-21 final two years ago by a solitary point, provide the opposition in the last four showdown at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise this Wednesday evening (throw-in 7.30pm) and one of their key players is defender Lee Chin who featured for the seniors when the counties clashed in the Leinster SF Championship quarter-final tie last year that went to a replay.
Wexford eventually emerged victorious as Longford let victory slip from their grasp but hopefully the current county U-21 footballers will succeed in gaining revenge. Having said that, the Wexford U-21s showed a lot of character to beat a strongly fancied Westmeath side after extra-time in their quarter-final tie at the St. Loman’s GAA grounds in Mullingar a couple of weeks ago and their challenge certainly cannot be taken for granted even if they are something of an unknown quantity.
Longford U-21 manager Eugene McCormack is not getting too carried away with the win over Dublin. He is realistic and knows that Longford have another tough test ahead of them against Wexford in the semi-final. “The whole scenario has reversed now and it’s how we can handle the pressure and how we can prepare for that. Their true character has to come out now. Wexford beating Westmeath shows you the twists and turns of football. There are no cups handed out at the quarter-final stage. It was easy to get ourselves up for the Dublin game and we are now looking at doing the same against Wexford. It’s a completely different match and we have to knuckle down and make sure we are in the right frame of mind again.”