Patrick Molloy pictured in action for the Longford minors.
It was always going to be extremely difficult for Longford but Dublin’s ruthless display in the Leinster Minor Football Championship quarter-final at Parnell Park on Saturday showed the real gulf in class between the counties.
Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship Quarter-Final
Dublin . . . 6-12 Longford . . . 0-5
From the moment Dublin opened up a lead they were relentless in attack and clinical in front of the posts. Longford just couldn’t cope with them and were outfought and outmuscled in all areas of the field. Dublin were also able to use their strong bench to great effect and Longford didn’t have that luxury.
In a very tight opening quarter Longford defended resolutely but also had chances which they failed to convert, kicking four wides to Dublin’s one.
Longford were dealt a blow in the 13th minute when defender Ciaran McKeon was dismissed for a black card he received from the referee following a tussle near the sideline. Darragh Conlon got the game’s first point for Dublin in the 14th minute but back came Longford with a point from Joseph Hagan.
Dublin tried to get a grip on the game but Longford defended very well and thwarted them on a number of occasions. But a brace of points apiece from Niall O’Leary and James Doran put the home side ahead by five by the 23rd minute.
That lead was extended to eight in the 25th minute when a poor kick-out went over the line, the sideline ball was played to Ross McGarry and he made no mistake in finding the back of the net for the first goal. With Dublin now very much in control Longford struggled to gain any possession as they went in at the break trailing by 1-6 to 0-1.
On the changeover Longford keeper Jack Fox made a fine save with his feet to deny Ciaran Archer another goal for Dublin before Longford, after going 19 minutes without a score, got their second point through Shane Farrell.
Dublin replied with a fine goal from Sean Hawkshaw and then Robbie O’Connell shot over the bar for the third Longford point.
Dublin scored their third goal in the 43rd minute and Longford just couldn’t stop them as the floodgates opened. In the 49th minute substitute Adam Byrne found the back of the net with a powerful shot to put the Dubs ahead by 17 points and four minutes later Ross McGarry got his second and Dublin’s fifth goal.
It got even worse for Longford in the final five minutes when Dublin added on another 1-2 to their most emphatic tally with substitute James Madden getting their sixth goal near the end
DUBLIN: David O’Hanlon; Darren Maher, Peader Ó Cofaigh Bhroin, Liam Flatman; Kieran Kennedy, Neil Matthews, Eoin O’Dea (0-2); Donal Ryan, Mark Treacy; Niall O’Leary (0-2), James Doran (1-2), Darragh Conlon (0-1); Ross McGarry (2-2), Seán Hawkshaw (1-1), Ciarán Archer.
Subs:- Adam Byrne (1-1) for N O’Leary (39 mins); Karl Lynch Bissett for D Conlon (44 mins); Fionnan O’Sullivan for J Doran (48 mins); David Lacey (0-1) for C Archer (49 mins); Daniel Deneher for D O’Dea (57 mins); James Madden (1-0) for S Hawkshaw (57 mins).
LONGFORD: Jack Fox (Ballymahon); Eamon Keogh (Killoe Emmet Og), Gerard Flynn (Longford Slashers), Kian Gilmore (Rathcline); Ciarán McKeon (Colmcille), PJ Masterson (Abbeylara), Niall Farrelly (Killoe Emmet Og); Patrick Molloy (Clonguish), Ciaran Reilly (Ballymore); Joseph Hagan (Dromard, 0-1), Shane Farrell (Kenagh, 0-1), Daire O’Brien (Longford Slashers); Dylan Farrell (Killashee St Brigid’s 0-2, 2f), Kyle Kenny (Legan Sarsfields), Robbie O’Connell (Longford Slashers, 0-1).
Subs:- Paddy Duggan (Longford Slashers) for C McKeon (black card, 14 mins); Aidan McGuire (Carrickedmond) for D O’Brien (38 mins); Justin McCormack (Carrickedmond) for P Duggan (40 mins); Cian McElligott (Mullinalaghta St Columba’s) for K Kenny (47 mins); Ross Claffey (Ballymahon) for C Reilly (50 mins); Mel Brady (Abbeylara) for R O’Connell (53 mins).
Referee: Seamus Mulhaire (Laois).