Longford junior football manager Jack Sheedy believes mistakes proved costly as his side were defeated by Cavan in the Leinster Junior Final at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Wednesday evening last.
“We made too many mistakes,” he told the Leader. “Cavan are well organised and are a decent side. We gave ourselves a chance to get into the game, we needed to push on but we didn’t get the next score which was crucial. It’s extremely disappointing to lose the final because we felt we had a good chance of winning the Leinster title.”
Cavan are noted for playing a defensive brand of football and at several times during the game they had a lot of players behind the ball. Not troubling the Cavan defence too often disappointed Sheedy: “Cavan have a system that they play to regardless of what grade. They are very comfortable with that. We didn’t break it down often enough. We turned over too many balls at crucial times and consequently didn’t get scores.”
Longford started slow but were level twice in the second half before Cavan took a hold on proceedings, scoring 3 points in a row before a goal in the 53rd minute effectively killed off Longford’s challenge.
“If we had prevented them from scoring a goal it would have kept our hopes alive. We were in with a shout because I felt we had a goal in us. But the quality of ball we were getting into the inside forwards just wasn’t good enough to unlock their defence. While we did score a fantastic goal it was just too little too late. Had we got it earlier we might have got another one,” said the Longford boss.
Despite this defeat Sheedy hopes Longford can use the junior competition to their advantage, just like Cavan have. Longford have now lost two finals in a row while the Breffni men have won two out of the last three Leinster Junior titles.
Sheedy said, “It’s a fantastic competition. Nobody wants to play challenge games with development squads. You see the success that Cavan are having at it. Look at the calibre and volume of players that they have coming through; we don’t have that at the moment.”