Paddy Moran on the attack for Longford against Meath. Action from the Leinster Minor (U-17) Football Championship Group 2 Round 1 game at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday Photo: Syl Healy
Showing remarkable resilience throughout the entertaining game, the Longford U-17 footballers produced a mighty performance to score a great win over the reigning All-Ireland minor champions Meath at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday.
Longford . . . 1-11 Meath . . . 1-10
It was a tremendous start to the 2022 Leinster Minor Football Championship for Gareth Johnston’s well drilled side and the home county got a big boost in first half stoppage time with a goal from a penalty converted by Paddy Moran after he was fouled in the square.
That left Longford leading by 1-7 to 0-5 at the break and despite playing against the wind in the second half the advantage was extended to a commanding six points when Matthew Carey fired over a free with six minutes gone on the changeover.
Meath were looking in trouble but a well struck goal from Cian Commons soon after brought the visitors right back into contention and the pressure was piling on Longford when they were reduced to 14 players following a black card for midfielder Jack Belton in the 48th minute.
The gap was closed to just a solitary point at that stage and while Meath hit the front (1-10 to 1-9) with time running out, Longford battled back with a brace of scores through Clonguish duo Michael Flynn and Matthew Carey (stoppage time free) to clinch a well deserved win.
Next up for Longford in the group phase of the provincial championship is the Round 2 clash against Kildare (very easy 3-12 to 0-5 winners over Offaly in Round 1) in Newbridge on Saturday April 2 in the quest to qualify for the knockout stage.
LONGFORD: Caolan Hussey (Mostrim); Brian Mulvey (Carrickedmond), Eamon Igoe (Killoe), Conor Flynn (Clonguish); Harry Kiernan (Granard, 0-1), Ruairi O’Toole (Dromard), Andrew Flynn (Clonguish, 0-1); Jack Belton (Mostrim), Ross Shields (Clonguish); Michael Murphy (Sean Connolly’s), Matthew Carey (Clonguish, 0-6, two frees, one mark), Jonathan Burke (Clonguish); Harry Mulvihill (Young Grattans), Paddy Moran (Killoe, 1-1, goal from penalty), Michael Flynn (Clonguish, 0-2).
Sub:- Matthew McCormack (Carrickedmond) for H Mulvihill (50 mins).
Blood sub:- Josh Kelly (Kenagh) for P Moran (stoppage time).
MEATH: Oisin Black; Oisin Daly, Eoghan Drysdale, Eoghan Ryan; Aidan Mackey, Finn White, Robbie Finnegan (0-1, ‘45); Evan O’Kane, Cian Commons (1-1); Tadhg Martin, Michael McIvor (0-3), Conor McWeeney (0-1); Rian Stafford (0-2, one free), Neil McGinley (0-2, one free), Zach Thornton.
Subs:- Cathal Melody for A Mackey (25 mins); Matthew Scanlon for E O’Kane (half-time); Declan Reilly for Z Thornton (half-time); Oisin Brennan for O Daly (43 mins).
Referee: Eamon O’Connor (Offaly).
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