Longford U-17 football manager Ger Carberry.
A tremendous start laid the foundations for the Longford U-17s richly deserved victory over Dublin in the Leinster Minor Football Shield Final at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday.
Longford . . . 1-13 Dublin . . . 0-11
Most unfortunate not to have made it through to the semi-finals of the Leinster Minor Championship proper, Ger Carberry’s side were very determined to gain some consolation and they showed fierce resilience to lead from start to finish on their way to winning the shield title.
Lethal corner-forward Cian Dooner ended up the excellent total of eight points (two frees) to his credit (landing some cracking scores), three of which came in the first half as Longford held a slender 1-5 to 0-7 lead at the break.
The home county (without injured duo Jordan Martin and Cian Nolan) made a strong start to the second half to increase their advantage with three more scores through Eoghan McCormack, Keelin McGann and Dooner and once they did not concede a goal they were always in a good position to go on and win the game.
A further four points followed from the accurate Dooner during the remainder of the match as Longford emerged victorious, much to the sheer delight of the vociferous home supporters.
LONGFORD: Patrick Murray (Carrickedmond); Darren Moffett (Killoe Emmet Og), Dario Ciglianio (Mostrim), Adam Quinn (Carrickedmond); Cian Belton (Clonguish), James Moran (Killoe Emmet Og), Peter Dempsey (Carrickedmond); Jonathan Borland (Killoe Emmet Og), Richard Prior (Rathcline); Euan Finneran (Killoe Emmet Og), Eoghan McCormack (Carrickedmond, captain, 0-1), Keelin McGann (Kenagh, 1-1); Reece Reilly (Abbeylara, 0-1, free), Darragh O’Connell (Longford Slashers, 0-1), Cian Dooner (Killoe Emmet Og, 0-8, two frees).
Subs:- Cian O’Nuallain (Longford Slashers) for A Quinn (37 mins); Reece Leonard (Killoe Emmet Og, 0-1, free) for R Reilly (42 mins); Conor Leonard (Mullinalaghta St Columba’s) for J Borland (60 mins); James Kiernan (St Mary’s Granard) for K McGann (two minutes into stoppage time).
DUBLIN: Simon Murphy; Noel Hatton, Adam Fearon, Adam Rafter; Ciaran McManus (0-1), Enda Cashman, Mark Lavin (0-4, two frees); Eoin Adamson, Rory Dwyer; Liam McGovern (0-1), Matthew Dunne, Alex Watson; Sean Guiden (0-5, two frees), Conor Hennessy, Tomas O’Neill.
Subs:- Conor O’Brien for A Fearon (injured, 21 mins); Robbie Bolger for T O’Neill (half-time); Matt Grogan for M Dunne (37 mins); Euan Farquharson for A Watson (42 mins); Josh Bannon for N Hatton (43 mins); Conor Chawke for L McGovern (52 mins).
Referee: Alan Coyne (Westmeath).