Longford will be expected to bounce back from the horrendous 27 points defeat against Dublin in the Leinster Championship quarter-final at Croke Park when they face Carlow in Round 1A of the All-Ireland qualifiers on Saturday week, June 20th.
The draw for the first series of games was made ‘live’ on RTE Radio 1 on Monday morning and it gives Jack Sheedy’s side a great opportunity to make some progress through the back door, particularly with the home comfort of playing at Pearse Park (7pm).
The counties, of course, clashed in Division 4 of the National League this season and with nothing at stake in a final round fixture at Dr Cullen Park it was already promoted Longford who emerged victorious by 1-18 to 1-12 despite resting several regulars.
Carlow were hammered 3-16 to 0-8 by Laois in the opening round of the Leinster Championship and it would appear to be the best possible draw for Longford who will be well fancied to make it through to the next round of the qualifiers.
COUNTY JUNIORS MEET WEXFORD IN LEINSTER
The Longford junior footballers are back in Leinster Championship action this Wednesday evening in a semi-final showdown against Wexford at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park (throw-in 7.30pm).
While the chances of the county ‘second string’ reaching the provincial title decider for the third year in succession have suffered a setback with Andrew Dalton (Slashers) ruled out due to injury, other players could be added to the squad.
Having said that, manager Francis McNamee must have been pleased with the 2-9 to 0-10 win over Kildare in the opening round even though the limited lily whites opposition were restricted to lining out players from intermediate and junior clubs.
McNamee and the other Longford junior mentors Ciaran Fox and Karl Dermody are working with a decent squad that mainly features eligible lads from the U-21 and senior squads this season.
Garret Higgins (Carrickedmond), Thomas Gallagher (Granard), Conor Quaine (Legan), Andrew Farrell (Cashel) and Brendan Devine (Clonguish) were listed among the substitutes for the Leinster championship clash against Dublin at Croke Park and will start for the juniors along with another member of the senior squad, Ronan Sweeney (Clonguish).
Larry Moran (Killoe), Darren Gallagher (Granard) and Fergal Sheridan (Colmcille) will also be in action against a supposedly strong Wexford side, backboned by a number of experiened players, and who were impressive in hammering Wicklow by the wide margin of 21 points (3-18 to 0-6) in the previous round.
There is no real guideline to form in this competition but the Longford juniors will be hoping to make it through to the Leinster final against Meath or Louth on Wednesday June 24th.