Lory Meagher Cup Final
Warwickshire . . . . . . 2-16 Longford . . . . . 0-10
Padraic O’Brien reporting from Croke Park
Going into the final in a confident frame of mind after flooring Fermanagh by the most emphatic margin of 18 points in their previous game, the Longford hurlers were brought crashing back down to earth by a stronger Warwickshire side in the Lory Meagher Cup decider at Croke Park on Saturday.
The Birmingham-based side, who had already beaten Longford in the group stages of the competition, were superior in most positions on the pitch and particularly outstanding was their commanding centre-half-back Eamon Gleeson while the chief marksmen Enda Lyons and Sean Hennessy caused constant havoc in the full-forward-line.
Fortunate to be trailing by just four points at the break (1-9 to 0-8) with the scores coming from Eoin Donnellan (5), Joe O’Brien (2) and goalkeeper Eanna Daly (long range free), Longford struggled badly in the second half as Warwickshire stepped up another gear to register a further 1-7 on their way to a surprisingly easy victory.
A couple of frees converted by Donnellan was all Longford could manage on the changeover in this disappointing defeat.
WARWICKSHIRE: Tom Goulding; Brian Bermingham, Liam Knocker, Chris Brough; Conal Maskey (0-1), Eamon Gleeson (1-0), Donnacha Kennedy; Michael Bermingham (0-2), Conor Robbins (0-1); Sean Hennessy (0-6, three frees, two ‘65’s, one play), Alan O’Neill, Cormac Behan; Enda Lyons (1-3), Patrick Duggan (0-2), Alan Morrissey (0-1).
Subs:- Reamann McEntee for A O’Neill (49 mins); Simon Wallace for D Kennedy (blood, 55 mins); Emmet McCabe for C Robbins (59 mins); D Kennedy for M Bermingham (61 mins); Dwayne Sheedy for C Behan (68 mins); Des Kelly for A Morrissey (69 mins).
LONGFORD: Eanna Daly (Clonguish, 0-1, free); Paudie McGarry (Clonguish), Tommy Stakem (Wolfe Tones, Mostrim), Benny Stakem (Wolfe Tones); Conor Egan (Birr), Tommy Roche (Salthill Knocknacarra), Diarmuid Corcoran (Templederry Kenyons, Co Tipperary); Ciaran Finucane (Clonguish), Rory Donnellan (Wolfe Tones); Eoin Donnellan (Wolfe Tones, 0-7, six frees), Kevin Conneely (Ballinderreen, Co Galway), Declan Tanner (St. Rynagh’s, Co Offaly); Karl Murray (Clonguish), John Newman (Salthill Knocknacarra), Joe O’Brien, captain (Clonguish, 0-2).
Subs:- Martin Coyle (Wolfe Tones) for R Donnellan (injured, 21 mins); Michael Farrell (Clonguish) for J Newman (47 mins); Gerard Moore (Clonguish) for P McGarry (70 mins); Keelan Cox (Wolfe Tones) for D Corcoran and Rory Breslin (Clonguish) for K Murray (two minutes into stoppage time).
Referee: Liam McAuley (Antrim).