After losing by only three points against the title favourites Dublin in the opening round, the Longford minors should still be in a confident frame of mind for their second chance in the Leinster Championship.
Louth will provide the opposition in the qualifiers at the Drogheda grounds this Thursday evening (throw-in 7.15pm) and it will be a major disappointment if Longford fail to come through the ‘back door’ in their quest to reach the quarter-finals.
The general opinion is that the county minors have the potential to make a big impact in the championship and are fancied to overcome the challenge of Louth, who were well beaten by Wexford (3-15 to 2-5) in Drogheda in the first round proper.
While the ‘wee’ county will be hoping to redeem themselves, particularly with home advantage, Longford look good enough to emerge victorious on the basis of a promising campaign so far and will be playing their 12th competitive fixture when they line-out in Drogheda.
After already beating Louth in the Leinster League, winning by four points when they were minus the services of Mullinalaghta duo David McGivney and Rian Brady, Longford will be hoping to progress a stage further in earning a home tie against Carlow in Round 2 of the championship qualifiers the following Wednesday evening, May 7th.
Another Mullinalaghta player Aidan McElligott was not fully fit to start against Dublin but was brought on at half-time. It is expected that McElligott will be selected in his regular role at full-forward for the clash against Louth as the manager Gareth Johnston and his selectors make at least one change to the team.
Should Longford gain the upper hand at centrefield through the probable pairing of captain Shane Kenny (Rathcline) and David McGivney, with Conor Berry (Northern Gaels) another option, the midlanders can bounce back with a win over Louth with the eventual losers making their exit from the championship.
And all those games in the Leinster League (unbeaten on their way to winning the title) and the Connacht League (suffering just one defeat against Galway) should certainly stand to them as Longford endeavour to make the most of their second chance in the championship.