Shane O'Brien pictured in action for the Longford senior hurlers against NUI Maynooth in the Kehoe Cup tournament game at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday last. Photo: Syl Healy
The Longford senior hurlers were no match for a powerful NUI Maynooth side as they suffered a heavy 29 points defeat in the Kehoe Cup Tournament Round 2 game at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday last.
Bord Na Mona Kehoe Cup Senior Hurling Tournament Group 1 - Round 2
NUI Maynooth . . . . . 7-26 Longford . . . . . 1-15
On any other day the team that started could win a game for Longford but not this time as their superior opponents won with ease. From goalkeeper right through to the full-forward-line they had quality in their side. Brian Hogan, their keeper, was involved with Tipperary hurlers and is the son of former player Ken Hogan.
It was Longford’s first competitive game of the new season and with Maynooth now through to the Kehoe Cup final after also beating Louth in the opening round of this competition, there is nothing but pride at stake for the county hurlers when they take on Louth in the remaining Group 1 fixture at Pearse Park on Sunday next.
The students hit over three early points before Longford registered their first score; a free from Cathal Mullane. Maynooth replied with two points and then got their first goal in the 12th minute through Laois star MJ Lalor.
Mullane was on target again from a free in the 14th minute but Maynooth responded with a point from Kilkenny’s Eoin Kenny. Longford keeper Breen Elliott brought off a save in the 15th minute but Lalor found the net with the rebound to grab his side’s third goal.
Longford tried hard to get scores with Cathal Mullane and Paddy Walsh firing over excellent strikes. In the 28th minute they got a goal when Ray O’Brien’s effort was slapped down into the path of Conor Keegan and he found the back of the net.
Maynooth got their fourth goal two minutes from the break and in the 35th minute Mullane did all the hard work to set Reuben Murray up for a neat score to leave Longford trailing by 4-12 to 1-7 at half-time.
Minutes into the second half and Eoin Kenny got Maynooth’s fifth goal. Cathal Mullane (free) and Paddy Walsh tried to keep the scoreboard ticking for Longford as both sides decided to bring on substitutes.
Things got worse for Longford in the 49th minute when Maynooth got their sixth goal through David Burke. Points when then added as they opened up a massive 22 point lead by the 54th minute.
Maynooth substitute Niall Kenny made an impression when he was introduced with the Kilkenny lad hitting over three fine points. Longford manager Ray Gavin gave many players a run-out with Conor Gallagher coming in between the posts and performing well for the time he was on the pitch.
Paddy Walsh fired over his third excellent point in the 58th minute as Longford tried to get scores on the board. Ethan Lawless and Frank Bass hit over points for Maynooth and they were relentless in front of the posts.
Walsh and Mullane (two points, one free) got late scores for Longford but Maynooth got their seventh goal right at the end through Roscommon’s Gearoid Egan.
LONGFORD: Breen Elliott; John Gaffney, Thomas Egan, Cian McLoughlin; Gerry Moore, Karl Murray, Stephen Farrell; Paddy Walsh (0-4), Conor Keegan (1-1); Shane O’Brien, Seamus Hannon (0-1), Ray O’Brien; Reuben Murray (0-1), Paddy Farrington, Cathal Mullane (0-8).
Subs:- Paul Leonard for G Moore (half-time); Eugene Kiernan for R O’Brien (45 mins); Luke Kelly for P Farrington (46 mins); Eoghan Kavanagh for S O’Brien and Alan Sorohan for C McLoughlin (54 mins); Conor Gallagher for B Elliott (57 mins); Jamie Rosney for R Murray and Conor Grant for S Farrell (58 mins).
NUI MAYNOOTH: Brian Hogan; Philip Smyth, Eoin McLoughlin, Ronan Smith; Gearoid Egan (0-1), Michael Campion, Ross Donoghue; Ciaran Breen (0-2), Shane O’Brien; Paul Kinsella (0-8, 2f, 1’65), Eoin Kenny (2-2), Frank Bass (0-3); Patrick Leahy, MJ Lalor (3-2), David Burke (1-4).
Subs:- Kevin Sheridan for M Campion (half-time); Mark Coady for P Leahy, Ethan Lawless (0-1) for E Kenny and Niall Kenny (0-3, 1f) for S O’Brien (45 mins); Fergal Murray (1-0) for D Burke and Dean Lawless for E McLoughlin (57 mins).
Referee: Richie Fitzsimons (Offaly).