Leinster Inter-County Vocational Schools Senior Football Championship Second Round
Longford . . . . . . . 2-14 Kildare . . . . . . 2-3
After hammering Offaly in the opening round at the Cashel grounds the previous week, Longford scored another emphatic win when beating the title holders Kildare by the wide margin of 11 points in the Leinster Inter-County Vocational Schools Senior Football Championship clash at the Hawkfield grounds, Newbridge on Friday evening last.
While Kildare will get a second chance in the qualifiers, Longford are now through to the Leinster semi-final on January 12th. The visitors got off to a good start when a long range pass from Aidan McElligott into Diarmuid Murtagh resulted in the Roscommon minor firing over an inspirational point but were then rocked when Kildare got a goal through M Byrne in the 5th minute
But Longford began to show great spirit and tremendous courage along with excellent support play to gain control and a goal from Rian Brady and points from Murtagh, David McGivney, Rory Connor and Shane Kenny left them leading by 1-5 to 1-1 at the break with Kildare’s only response a point from Niall Flynn.
In a whirlwind start to the second half, Longford extended their advantage with a point from Murtagh and a goal from Connor who was quick to react in capitalising on a mistake by the Kildare keeper to bury the ball in the back of the net.
Rian Brady then shot over the bar with Longford now holding a commanding 2-7 to 1-1 lead but Kildare managed to close the gap with a point apiece from Wayne Fitzpatrick and Niall Flynn and a goal from Kyle Murphy.
Back came Longford to pile on the pressure during the remainder of the game to register some more scores through Rory Connor, Shane Kenny, Diarmuid Murtagh and Nigel Rabbitte and could afford the luxury of bringing on five substitutes.
Make no mistake about it, this was a very good team performance where all the players had their moments and particularly prominent were Israel ILungo, Sean McKeogh, David McGivney, Aidan McElligott, Mattie Gorman, Shane Kenny and the lethal full-forward-line of Diarmuid Murtagh, Rory Connor and Rian Brady.
The Longford management team of James Carroll and Ryan Plunkett, teachers at Cnoc Mhuire, Granard, have assembled a good team which will be difficult to beat in the battle for the Leinster title but do not be surprised if Kildare come through the back door in their attempt to retain the provincial crown.
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), Shane Cosgrove (Lanesboro CC); David McGivney (Cnoc Mhuire, captain, 0-1), Aidan McElligott (Cnoc Mhuire); Mattie Gorman (Cnoc Mhuire), Shane Kenny (Ballymahon SS, 0-2), Nigel Rabbitte (Cnoc Mhuire, 0-1); Rian Brady (Cnoc Mhuire, 1-1), Rory Connor (Ballymahon SS, 1-2), Diarmuid Murtagh (Lanesboro CC, 0-6).
Subs used:- Martin McGoey (Ballymahon VS), Niall Sheehy (Ballymahon SS), Eoin Higgins (Cnoc Mhuire), Fionnan O’Reilly (Cnoc Mhuire, 0-1), Diarmuid Fitzsimons (Cnoc Mhuire).
KILDARE: G Shannon; C Coyle, J Hendry, J Kennedy; J Flynn, C Davin, S Dempsey; M Byrne (1-0), J Connolly; K Murphy (1-0), W Fitzpatrick (0-1), S McGrath; L McCabe, J Cox, N Flynn (0-2).