Leinster Minor Football Championship Qualifier – Round 1
Longford . . . . . 1 – 10 Westmeath . . . . . 0 – 7
After losing to Kildare in the opening round, title holders Longford made the most of their second chance in getting the better of neighbouring rivals Westmeath in the Leinster Minor Football Championship Qualifier Round 1 game at Pearse Park on Wednesday evening and will have home advantage again when they take on Wicklow on Tuesday next with a place in the quarter-final at stake.
While six points separated the sides in the finish, this was a lot tighter contest than the final scoreline would appear to suggest and after trailing by 0-6 to 0-3 in the early stages of the second half, Westmeath got back on level terms with three quick scores in a row through Lorcan Dolan, David McCormack and Robbie Henshaw.
The visitors then kicked a couple of costly wides and Longford proceeded to regain the upper hand with a brace of points from frees converted by James McGivney before Robbie Smyth got the decisive only goal in the 46th minute from a well struck penalty after Meath referee David Gough ruled that Barry McKeon was fouled in the square.
The impressive McKeon fired over the final score for Longford in the 54th minute not long after Westmeath suffered the setback of losing centre-half-back Paddy Holloway who received a straight red card at a stage when they were fighting a losing battle.
LONGFORD: Gareth Higgins (Carrick Sarsfields); Michael McHugh (Northern Gaels), Barry O’Farrell (Carrick Sarsfields), John Gill (St. Dominic’s, Kenagh); Shane Clarke (Killoe), Brian Collum (St. Vincent’s, Drumlish/Ballinamuck), Cian Farrelly (Killoe); James McGivney (Northern Gaels, 0-4, three frees), Timmy Jackson (Granard/Ballymore); Daniel Mimnagh (Killoe), Conor Clarke (Longford Slashers, 0-1), Cillian Lynn (Wolfe Tones, Mostrim, 0-1, ‘45’); Barry McKeon (Colmcille, 0-2), Robbie Smyth (Northern Gaels, 1-2, goal from penalty, two points from frees), Gary Maguire (St. Francis, Dromard).
Subs:- Martin Mulligan (Colmcille) for M McHugh (injured, 16 mins); Ross McNerney (Colmcille) for G Maguire (28 mins); Brian Walsh (Longford Slashers) for C Lynn (35 mins); Paudge Gill (St. Vincent’s) for T Jackson (44 mins); Emmet Noonan (St. Vincent’s) for S Clarke (59 mins).
WESTMEATH: Michael McMahon; David Lynch, James Ganley, Killian Daly (0-1); Gary Greville, Paddy Holloway, John Rock (0-1); Robbie Henshaw (0-1), Ray Connellan; David Fennell, David McCormack (0-1), Robbie Greville; Lorcan Dolan (0-1), Dean McNicholas, Ger Leech (0-1, free).
Subs:- Andrew O’Sullivan for D Fennell (44 mins); Paul Maxwell for D Lynch (46 mins); Paul Fennell for D McCormack (49 mins); Cian Bradley for R Greville (54 mins); David Whelan (0-1) for R Connellan (58 mins).
Referee: David Gough (Meath).