Longford minors beaten by Galway but produce improved performance

Patrick Cahill

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Patrick Cahill

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newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Longford minors beaten by Galway but produce improved performance

Shane Farrell pictured in action for the Longford minors against Galway in the Connacht League game at the Clonbonny grounds, Lanesboro on Saturday last. Photo: Declan Gilmore

Longford minors suffered their third defeat in the Connacht League this season when they lost out to Galway at the Clonbonny grounds, Lanesboro on Saturday last.

Connacht Minor Football League - Round 3

Galway . . . . . 2-12        Longford . . . . . 1-10

The home county were 0-8 to 0-5 ahead at the break but Galway gradually got on top in the second half to win by five points in the finish.  

Longford produced an improved performance from their previous outings and threatened to win the game. The final scoreline flatters Galway as Longford could have emerged victorious in this highly entertaining encounter.

The defending Connacht champions started well with clear signs of a talented full-forward-line already evident. Corner forwards Padraig Costello and Darragh Silke hitting the mark for Galway while Ciaran Reilly pointed a free for Longford who trailed by 0-4 to 0-1 at the end of the first quarter.

At this point, Longford began to dominate the midfield battle, boosted by the return of Packie Molloy and Ciaran Reilly to this vital sector. The influential duo, along with good support from centre-half-back PJ Masterson, orchestrated a comeback in the second quarter.

Longford, applying a 2 man sweeper system, created great space for the full-forward-line to play with and using this tactic to fine effect they began to prosper. Dylan Farrell was particularly prominent in shooting four points and with Dylan Corcoran and Ciaran Reilly also getting scores, Longford were good value for their 0-8 to 0-5 half-time lead.

A new look Galway side appeared in the second half, revitalised by the introduction of four half-time substitutes as five points in a row were registered on the changeover with the full-forward-line duo of Padraig Costello and Rory Cunningham posing a serious threat for the Longford defence.

Galway regained the lead in the 36th minute and held on for a win despite considerable Longford pressure in the closing stages of the game. The impressive Padraig Costello scored a goal with 10 minutes remaining to put five points between the sides..

But credit must go to Longford who were resilient and continued to press for further scores and thanks to a goal from a penalty converted by Joe Hagan and a pointed free from Dylan Farrell, just the minimum of margins separated the sides.

Galway, backboned by many of last year’s Connacht title winning squad, clinched the hard earned victory with a goal from Conor Newell to inflict defeat on gallant Longford whose losing streak this season is now extended to five games.

Karl Dermody’s side will go on to play Leitrim next before a clash with Mayo to conclude their Connacht League campaign and could do with a win to boost the confidence factor before the Leinster Championship first round clash at home to Wicklow on Saturday April 22.

LONGFORD: Jack Fox (Ballymahon); Edward Smyth (St Mary's Granard), Eamon Keogh (Killoe Emmet Og), Kian Gilmore (Rathcline); Shane Farrell (Kenagh), PJ Masterson (Abbeylara), Dylan Corcoran (St. Mary's Granard, 0-1); Patrick Molloy (Clonguish, 0-1f), Ciaran Reilly (Ballymore, 0-3, 2f); Niall Farrelly (Killoe Emmet Og), Joseph Hagan (Dromard, 1-0, penalty), Gerard Flynn (Longford Slashers); Dylan Farrell (St. Brigid's Killashee, 0-5, 3f), Dylan McCabe (Colmcille), Aidan McGuire (Carrickedmond).

Subs:- Ross Claffey (Ballymahon) for E Keogh (black card, 17 mins); Ciaran McKeon (Colmcille) for C Reilly (injured, 35 mins); Justin McCormack (Carrickedmond) for A McGuire (45 mins); Gavin Hughes (Killoe Emmet Og) for E Smyth (45 mins), Kyle Kenny (Legan Sarsfields) for D McCabe (59 mins).

GALWAY: Oran Burke, Conor Campbell, Sean Mulkerrin, Ciaran Potter; Gavin Burke, Eoin McFadden, Ross Mahon; Matthias Barrett, Daniel Kennedy; David Connaughton, Martin Kerrigan, Jack Gavin;  Darragh Silke (0-5, 2f), Padraig Costello (1-5, 3f), Conor Newell (1-1).

Subs:- James Crowley for R Mahon (half-time); Brian Harlowe for D Connaughton (half-time); Sean McQuillan for M Kerrigan (half-time); Rory Cunningham (0-1) for J Gavin (half-time); James Mulroney for D Kennedy (52 mins).

Referee:  Michael McGirl (Leitrim).