Longford manager Eugene McCormack praised his players’ efforts after they defeated reigning champions Cavan on Wednesday night last to book their place in the Leinster Junior Football Championship Final.
Speaking to the Leader after the game McCormack said, “The lads worked really hard. We asked for a huge effort and the lads gave me that in abundance. You were never going to win that match without that gritty determination. They were terrific.”
McCormack admitted that Longford had their homework done on the opposition in the run up to the game and knew what to expect: “We had a training session on Saturday and we talked about Cavan. We had a good idea of the way they were going to play.
“Knowing their manager Terry (Hyland) down through the years I knew what he’d bring to the table as well. It was a battle and thank God we came out on the right side of it.”
The majority of the Longford team played under McCormack at U-21 level earlier this year and he is delighted to be able to call upon those lads as well as some more experienced players.
“The U-21s haven’t let me down. They are terrific lads and I also brought in some experienced lads too. We were trying to get the blend together. It’s about who was available to try and put the panel together. Every player I rang all said they’d come in which was very pleasing.”
Kildare will provide the opposition for Longford in the provincial decider on Wednesday, June 26 in St Conleth’s Park. Newbridge. The aim at the start of the campaign was to get to the final and now they’re there they’ll try and win it.
“The very first time we got together we talked about could we get to a Leinster Final,” said McCormack. “We set our stall out very early. The lads have bought into it and here we are now in a Leinster Final. Kildare will be very strong. What we have to do is go to Newbridge and try and get a win there. The lads have been terrific and nothing is impossible.”
Kildare, managed by Dermot Finn, will be appearing in their third consecutive provincial JFC final after they defeated Wicklow by 0-8 to 0-7. Wicklow led by two points with eight minutes remaining and Cian Bolton landed the decisive point in injury time. Paddy Mahon, Seamus Hanafin and Keith Cribbin also scored for the Lilywhites.