Cian Dooner pictured in action for the Longford U-17s.
Kenagh’s Keelin McGann scored a last gasp winning point for the Longford U-17s against Louth in the Leinster Minor Football Shield semi-final at the Ardee grounds on Saturday and now meet Dublin in the title decider next weekend.
Longford . . . 1-17 Louth . . . 4-7
In the special competition confined to the counties who failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the Leinster Minor Championship proper, Longford showed fierce resilience in battling back from seven points down (2-3 to 0-2) midway through the first half to eventually come out on top by the minimum of margins in the end.
After getting off to such a bad start with the concession of the early goals, it was not looking good for Ger Carberry’s side but they gradually recovered to cut the gap to five points (2-5 to 0-6) at the break.
Keelin McGann, Cian Dooner (2), Eoghan McCormack, Euan Finneran and Reece Reilly accounted for the Longford scores in the first half and a great start to the second half brought the midlanders right back into contention.
A goal from McCormack, along with other scores from McGann and Dooner, left Longford on level terms with 40 minutes gone on the clock and the momentum was now firmly with the visitors who led by 1-15 to 3-7 by the 55th minute thanks to a couple of more points from McGann.
Louth scored a fourth goal in a dramatic finish to leave the sides all square and with a draw and extra-time looking the likely outcome up popped McGann to land the winning point with the last kick of the game.
The Longford U-17s have now earned a crack at Dublin in the Leinster Shield final on Saturday next in the curtain-raiser to the Leinster Minor Championship title decider, Meath v Kildare or Wicklow.
The Dubs cruised to a very easy 3-20 to 0-12 win over Wexford in the other Leinster Minor Shield semi-final on Saturday.
LONGFORD: Patrick Murray; Mark O’Neill, Dario Ciglianio, Cian Nolan; Darren Moffett, James Moran, Peter Dempsey; Jonathan Borland, Adam Quinn; Euan Finneran (0-1), Eoghan McCormack (1-4), Keelin McGann (0-6); Reece Reilly (0-2, one free), Darragh O’Connell, Cian Dooner (0-3, two frees).
Subs:- Cian Belton for P Dempsey (46 mins); Reece Leonard (0-1) for R Reilly (50 mins); Cian O'Nuallain for A Quinn (55 mins).