Longford were impressive in winning by the landslide margin of 24 points as a poor Offaly outfit were outclassed in a completely one-sided Leinster Inter-County Vocational Schools Senior Football Championship first round clash at Pairc Chiaran, Cashel on Friday evening last.
Powered by Longford minors, Mullinalaghta duo David McGivney and Aidan McElligott who dominated at midfield, along with another quality performance in the full-forward-line from Roscommon minor Diarmuid Murtagh (Ballyleague), the home side were totally in control and can look forward with considerable confidence to the Round 2 game away to Kildare at the Hawkfield grounds on Friday evening next.
Needless to say, that will prove to be a lot tougher task against the reigning provincial champions but this talented Longford Vocational Schools squad could be serious Leinster title contenders on the evidence of their most emphatic victory over Offaly. Others to figure most prominently in a strong attack were Kenagh lad Rory Connor (another Longford minor in 2012) and Shane Kenny (Rathcline).
Murtagh (0-6), Connor (1-4) and Kenny (0-8) clocked up 1-18 between them as Longford ran riot at the floodlit Cashel grounds even though the visitors registered the opening score when corner-forward Paddy Dunican converted a free in the 3rd minute.
Longford then took over to assert total control and they ended up in a very commanding 1-12 to 0-3 lead at half-time with Eoghan Sorohan firing home a well-taken goal in the 10th minute. Sorohan later hit the crossbar while Shane Kenny had a point-blank shot saved by the Offaly keeper just before the break.
Kenny and Diarmuid Murtagh landed four points apiece (some excellent efforts) while the other Longford scores in the first half came from Nigel Rabbitte, Rory Connor (2) and Eoghan Sorohan. Dunican and Dylan Murray (from frees) replied for Offaly who were struggling badly.
And things went from bad to worse for the faithful county in the second half as the demolition job continued with rampant Longford adding another 1-14 to their tremendous tally.
Rory Connor grabbed the goal in the 37th minute, and also fired over a brace of points, while the remainder of the scores were registered by Shane Kenny (4), Diarmuid Murtagh (2), centre-half-back Sean McKeogh, Aidan McElligott and David McGivney with substitutes Mattie Gorman (2) and Rian Brady also on target.
LONGFORD: Gary Kenny (Ballymahon Secondary School); Jack Rooney (Lanesboro Community College), Andrew Farrell (Ballymahon Vocational School), Israel ILungo (Cnoc Mhuire, Granard); Paddy Farrell (Ballymahon SS), Sean McKeogh (Cnoc Mhuire, 0-1), Shane Cosgrove (Lanesboro CC); David McGivney (Cnoc Mhuire, 0-1), Aidan McElligott (Cnoc Mhuire, 0-1); Nigel Rabbitte (Cnoc Mhuire, 0-1), Shane Kenny (Ballymahon SS, 0-8), David McGoey (Ballymahon VS); Eoghan Sorohan (Lanesboro CC, 1-1), Rory Connor (Ballymahon SS, 1-4, two frees), Diarmuid Murtagh (Lanesboro CC, 0-6, one free).
Subs:- Mattie Gorman (Cnoc Mhuire, 0-2) for P Farrell (injured, 35 mins); Rian Brady (Cnoc Mhuire, 0-1) for D McGoey (39 mins); John Gaffney (Cnoc Mhuire) for S McKeogh (49 mins); Ciaran Mallon (Cnoc Mhuire) for E Sorohan (54 mins).
OFFALY: Dylan Buckley; Donal Scally, Eoghan Hennessy, Matthew O’Grady; Calum Stewart, Karl Dunne, Shane Dunning; Jordan Quinn, Darragh Keenaghan (0-1); Conor Leavy (0-1), Alan Geoghegan, Leslie Nolan; Paddy Dunican (0-2, frees), Paddy Cosgrove (1-0), Dylan Murray (0-1, free).
Subs:- Dean Flynn for S Dunning (26 mins); Stephen Duffy for L Nolan (half-time); Sean Buckley for D Scally (46 mins); Ryan Smith for A Geoghegan (50 mins).
Referee: Brendan Keena (Ballynacarrigy, Westmeath).