Narrow defeat for Longford minors against Derry




Cathal McCabe on the ball for Longford against Derry in the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship quarter-final at Brewster Park, Enniskillen on Saturday.   Photo: Declan Gilmore
All-Ireland Minor Football Championship Quarter-Final

All-Ireland Minor Football Championship Quarter-Final

Derry . . . . . . 0-12 Longford . . . . . . 2-4

The Longford minors let a five points lead slip from their grasp as the red-hot favourites Derry came storming back to win the All-Ireland quarter-final at Brewster Park, Enniskillen on Saturday.

Longford really rattled the Ulster champions in the first half and thanks to goals from Darragh Doherty (22 mins) and Peter Hanley (25 mins) the beaten Leinster finalists ended up leading by 2-2 to 0-4 at the break.

When you also take into account that Conor Berry had a goalbound shot blocked on the line and Jayson Matthews hitting the post, Longford could have been even further in front with Berry kicking over both points (play and free) in the first half.

But Derry gradually gained control in the second half in restricting Tony Devlin’s side to just two more scores on the changeover, a free converted by Conor Berry (36 mins) with Ruairi Harkin landing a fine effort from play in the 44th minute.

The star of the show for Derry was corner-forward Shane McGuigan, who kicked a total of seven points (two frees) during the course of this intriguing contest.

With Longford leading by 2-4 to 0-6 midway through the second half, Derry appeared to be in trouble but McGuigan came to the rescue to register four points in a row to leave the sides all square by the 55th minute.

And the brave Longford challenge finally wilted in the closing stages as dominant Derry tacked on another couple of points through Jack Doherty and Conor Glass (free) to come out on top.

DERRY: Ben McKinless; Niall Keenan, Conor McGrogan, Conor Maunsell; Oisin Duffin, Michael McEvoy, Eoghan Concannon; Patrick Kearney, Jack Doherty (0-2); Patrick Coney, Shea Downey, Conor Glass (0-2, one free); Brian Cassidy (0-1), Barry Grant, Shane McGuigan (0-7, two frees).

Subs:- Seamus Higgins for B Grant (34 mins); Feargal Higgins for B Cassidy (38 mins); Niall McAtamney for P Kearney (41 mins); Gearoid McLaughlin for O Duffin (50 mins); Francis Kearney for C Maunsell (53 mins).

LONGFORD: Michael Hughes (Killoe); Michael Cahill (Carrickedmond), Ronan Sheahan (Longford Slashers), Ruairi Harkin (Colmcille, 0-1); Kevin Sorohan (Rathcline), Cian Brady (Abbeylara), Ryan Moffatt (Killoe); Peter Hanley (Clonguish, 1-0), Enda Farrell (Carrickedmond); Darragh Doherty (Mostrim, 1-0), Russell Brady (Abbeylara), Peter Lynn (Young Grattans); Jayson Matthews (Mullinalaghta), Conor Berry (captain, Abbeylara, 0-3, two frees), Cathal McCabe (Colmcille).

Subs:- Rory Hawkins (Colmcille) for R Moffatt (30 mins); Cian Finnan (Longford Slashers) for D Doherty (53 mins); Joe Heaney (Sean Connolly’s) for C McCabe (58 mins); Liam Barry (Longford Slashers) for R Sheahan (59 mins); Joe Kelly (Ballymahon) for P Hanley (60 mins); Mark McCormack (Ballymahon) for K Sorohan (second minute of stoppage time).

Referee: Liam Devenney (Mayo).