After producing a spirited performance in making it difficult for a strongly fancied Meath team in the opening round of the Leinster Minor Football Championship at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, losing narrowly by 1-11 to 0-11 with a penalty goal just before the half-time break proving to be the decisive matchwinning score, Longford will get a second chance at home to Laois in the qualifiers on Wednesday evening next, May 2nd (throw-in 7pm) with the eventual winners advancing to the quarter-finals.
Longford manager Martin Mulleady will be back on the sideline after serving a two week suspension and it will be interesting to see whether any changes will be made to the starting fifteen after five substitutes were brought on during the course of the second half against Meath.
Laois suffered a surprise 2-5 to 1-6 defeat against Wicklow at Aughrim in the opening round and are clearly a better team than that disappointing result would appear to suggest. Promising attacker Paul Kingston is a major threat for the O’Moore county and Longford could be hard pressed to avoid an early exit from the Leinster Championship.
The teams have already clashed this year in the Leinster League with the game finishing in a draw at Pearse Park and Laois were apparently minus the services of some injured key players on that occasion. Another close encounter is probably in prospect and hopefully home advantage will swing the issue in favour of Longford in their attempt to come through the back door.
Longford line-out v Meath: Colm Farrell (Longford Slashers); Martin Mulligan (Colmcille), Cian Farrelly (Killoe), John Gill (Kenagh); Shane Clarke (Killoe), Aidan McElligott (Mullinalaghta), Emmet Noonan (Drumlish); Timmy Jackson (Granard/Ballymore), Andrew Dalton (Longford Slashers); Liam Connerton (Rathcline), Ross McNerney (Colmcille), David McGivney (Mullinalaghta); Larry Moran (Killoe), Rory Connor (Kenagh), Jason Earley (Abbeylara).
Subs used:- Liam Sullivan (Granard/Ballymore); Patrick Farrell (Carrick Sarsfields); Ciaran Mallon (Granard/Ballymore); Killian Farrell (Ardagh) and Gary Connell (Drumlish).