Longford suffer third loss after sluggish start

Longford's Barry McKeon determinedly bursts past the tackles of Cavan's Senan Gilchrist and Conor Moynagh. Photo: Declan Gilmore
Longford’s U-21’s fell to their third defeat in the Hastings Cup as Cavan gained revenge for last year’s final defeat and recorded their third win from three.

Longford’s U-21’s fell to their third defeat in the Hastings Cup as Cavan gained revenge for last year’s final defeat and recorded their third win from three.

The damage was all done in the first half as Cavan scored two goals and held a 7 point lead at the break. Longford were a different proposition in the 2nd half and were much improved but they were guilty of some poor finishing; kicking 8 wides. If they’d put over some of their chances it would’ve left for an interesting finish to the game.

It took just one minute for Cavan to open the scoring; Liam Galligan played the ball to Conor Madden who fired over a nice point. Longford’s first score came minutes later when Robbie Smyth pointed over a free.

In the 7th minute Cavan got their first goal when a nice move involving a number of players was finished to the net by midfielder Michael Argue. Two points from Madden either side of a Galligan free stretched Cavan’s lead to six points in the 10th minute, 1-4 to 0-1.

Longford replied with a fine Smyth effort from play before Cavan got their 2nd goal of the game in the 12th minute; Tom Hayes with the pass which Madden cheekily flicked over the head of Longford keeper Colm Farrell, 2-4 to 0-2.

One minute later and Longford grabbed a goal themselves when James McGivney found the back of the net with a good finish. Frees were traded between Galligan and Smyth before Cavan took control of proceedings again and added on three more points; a move started by Senan Gilchrist ended with the midfielder pointing, that was followed by another Galligan free before Ben Kiernan got his name on the scoresheet, 2-8 to 1-3.

Longford’s only score in the final 10 minutes of the half was another Smyth free as Jack Sheedy’s charges trailed by seven points at the break, 2-8 to 1-4.

One minute after the interval Cavan stretched their lead to 8 points when Kiernan hit over a point. Longford then started to get back into the game but for all their possession they could only hit over two points in a 15 minute spell; Rory Connor with a ’45 and another Smyth point, 2-9 to 1-6.

During that period of dominance Cavan’s half-time substitute Andrew Graham was black carded in the 47th minute. After 18 minutes without a score Kevin Boucher got Cavan’s second point of the 2nd half in the 49th minute.

After a number of poor Longford wides Paddy Kiernan pointed over in the 50th minute but then five minutes later they too had a player black carded; Rory Connor the player who had to leave the field early.

In the final 5 minutes themselves Cavan squandered chances. Smyth got his 6th point of the afternoon for Longford in the 57th minute but Galligan was on target again for Cavan minutes later pointing over his 4th free.

Right at the end Longford substitute Fergal Sheridan got on the scoresheet to leave just five between them.

Longford: Colm Farrell; Brian Collum, Andrew Farrell, Cian Farrelly; Conor Shields, Stephen McLoughlin, Mike Kiernan; Podge Gill, Andrew Dalton; Barry McKeon, James McGivney (1-0), Rory Connor (0-1,’45); Ross McNerney, Robbie Smyth (0-6,3f), Liam Connerton.

Subs: Paddy Kiernan (0-1) for Dalton inj (10 mins), Anthony McBrien for Farrell (39 mins), Cillian Lynn for Connerton (46 mins), Emmet Noonan for Connor (black card – 55 mins), Fergal Sheridan (0-1) for Gill (57 mins)

Cavan: Chris Magee; Stephen McManus, Killian Clarke, Luke Moynagh; Jonathan McCabe, Conor Moynagh, Aaron O’Hara; Senan Gilchrist (0-1), Michael Argue (1-0); Liam Galligan (0-4,4f), Joe Dillon, Ben Kiernan (0-2); Tom Hayes, Conor Madden (1-3), Padraig Moore.

Subs: Dara McVity for C Moynagh and Andrew Graham for Hayes (half-time), Kevin Boucher (0-1) for Moore (41 mins), Cian Byrne for Graham (black card – 47 mins), Aaron Watson for Kiernan (50 mins), Greg McGovern for Gilchrist (58 mins).

Referee: Paul Daly