Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship First Round
Laois . . . .. . . . . 1-9 Longford . . . . . . . . . 0-6
by Deniese O’Flaherty
If Longford are to make any impact in this year’s Leinster Minor Football Championship they will have to do it via the backdoor following a six points first round defeat against Laois in very blustery conditions at O’Moore Park on Wednesday evening.
It was a disappointing display from Longford who found the going too tough against a better Laois team. But Longford will get a second chance in the qualifiers against Offaly or Meath on Wednesday evening, May 1st.
It was a miserable experience all round for Martin Mulleady’s side; as well as the defeat and the wintry conditions they had two players sent-off near the end following an incident close to the Laois goals. First Larry Moran received a second yellow card before Aidan McElligott was shown a straight red card after referee Garrett Whelan had consulted with his umpires and thus Longford ended the game with 13 players on the pitch.
Leading by 0-4 to 0-2 at the break, Laois made a great start to the second half. First Dean Cullen was on hand to fire the ball past opposing keeper Fitzpatrick for the game’s only goal and one minute later Shiel pointed a free. Longford responded with points from Martin Cassidy (free) and an excellent effort from Paddy Kiernan to come to within four of Laois who registered their 6th point of the game, from a Shiel free, in the 43rd minute.
Longford then squandered a great goal opportunity; Liam Sullivan played a quick free into David McGivney but he blasted his shot over the bar. Two minutes later Martin Cassidy got this third point but it proved to be Longford’s last score of the game as Laois ran out comfortable winners.
LONGFORD: Shane Fitzpatrick (Killoe); Dessie Reynolds (Sean Connolly’s), Jason Earley (Abbeylara), Andrew Farrell (Cashel); Adrian Duffy (Longford Slashers), Aidan McElligott (Mullinalaghta), Ronan Sweeney (Clonguish); David McGivney (Mullinalaghta, 0-1), Patrick Farrell (Carrickedmond); Liam Sullivan (Granard), Paddy Kiernan (Killoe, 0-1), Cormac Hughes (Colmcille); Martin Cassidy (Fr. Manning Gaels, 0-3, two frees), Larry Moran (Killoe), Shane Kenny (Rathcline).
Subs:- Mattie Gorman (Ballymore, 0-1) for S Kenny (injured, 2 mins); Nigel Rabbitte (Abbeylara) for P Kiernan (46 mins); Rian Brady (Mullinalaghta) for M Gorman (53 mins); Fergal Sheridan (Colmcille) for P Farrell (injured, 58 mins).
Read the full report in the next edition of the Longford Leader, on sale on Wednesday