Leinster Under 21 Football Championship First Round Replay
Longford . . . . . . 0-9 Westmeath . . . . . 0-8
A well struck long range point from midfielder Barry McKeon in the 57th minute clinched Longford a worthy win over Westmeath in the Leinster Under 21 Football Championship first round replay at the wet and windy St. Lomanâ€™s GFC grounds in Mullingar on Wednesday night.
The difficult conditions made it extremely tough for both sides but Longford put in the harder work throughout this tight contest to emerge victorious by the minimum of margins in advancing to meet Laois in the quarter-final at Oâ€™Moore Park next Wednesday night, March 5th, throw-in 7.30pm.
Particularly prominent for Jack Sheedyâ€™s side in the replay victory was full-forward Robbie Smyth who kicked a total of six points (four frees) while great credit also to keeper Gareth Higgins who produced a brilliant point-blank save on the stroke of half-time to deny Dean McNicholas from scoring a goal for Westmeath who led by 0-5 to 0-3 at the break.
Longford had the advantage of the strong wind in the second half and despite kicking eight wides on the changeover they succeeded in scoring another six points through Smyth (4), James McGivney and McKeon in doing just enough to get across the first hurdle at the second attempt.
Read the full report in the next edition of the Longford Leader, on sale on Wednesday
LONGFORD: Gareth Higgins (Carrickedmond); Cian Farrelly (Killoe Emmet Og), Andrew Farrell (Cashel), Anthony McBrien (Abbeylara); Shane Clarke (Killoe Emmet Og), Stephen McLoughlin (Clonguish), Conor Shields (Clonguish); Barry McKeon (Colmcille, 0-1), James McGivney (Mullinalaghta St. Columbaâ€™s, 0-1); Emmet Noonan (Fr. Manning Gaels), Rory Connor (Kenagh, 0-1), Paddy Kiernan (Killoe Emmet Og); Andrew Dalton (Longford Slashers), Robbie Smyth (Abbeylara, 0-6, four frees), Liam Connerton (Rathcline).
Subs:- Ross McNerney (Dromard) for L Connerton (52 mins); Daniel Mimnagh (Killoe Emmet Og) for P Kiernan (56 mins).
WESTMEATH: Michael McMahon; John Rock, Killian Daly, Jack Donoghue (0-1); David Lynch, Paddy Holloway, David Whelan; Dean McNicholas (0-1), David McCormack; Seanie Daly, Ger Leech, Alan Coffey; Ray Connellan (0-2, frees), Lorcan Dolan (0-1), Shane Dempsey (0-1, free).
Subs:- Eoin Monaghan (0-2) for D McNicholas (34 mins); Martin Rock for G Leech (56 mins).
Referee: Fergal Barry (Kildare).