Martin Blake (Briody Bedding Limited-Tournament Sponsors) presenting the man of the match award to Kenagh's Keelan McGann following the Longford U-16's victory over Down in the Gerry Reilly Cup.
Longford staged a terrific comeback to beat Down in a dramatic finish to the quarter-final of the Gerry Reilly Cup Leinster U-16 Football Tournament at the Oldcastle GAA grounds on Saturday evening last.
Longford . . . 2-12 Down . . . 0-14
Down were seemingly coasting to victory going into the last quarter of the match and were leading Longford by 0-13 to 0-6. Longford had reduced the gap with points from Richard Prior and a Jack Duggan pointed free before Longford keeper Conor Skelly saved Jack Murtagh’s penalty.
This proved to be a significant turning point in raising the Longford spirit and they pushed on to fire over three scores in a row to close the gap to just two points.
Down looked to have weathered the storm with a point from John McGovern but gutsy Longford just refused to accept defeat and got back on level terms with a goal from Cathal Gilligan with full-time approaching.
Extra-time loomed but the momentum was firmly with Longford who hit the front with a point and a victory clinching goal from Jack Duggan who received a pass from man of the match Keelan McGann.
Down had led at the break by 0-7 to 0-5 and could have been much further ahead but for the Longford keeper Conor Skelly who produced some terrific saves.
Providing the opposition for Longford in the semi-final of the Gerry Reilly Cup at the Oldcastle grounds (the host club) this Saturday night (throw-in 8pm) will be neighbouring rivals Cavan who scored a comprehensive 6-15 to 1-17 win over Dublin in the quarter-final on Sunday evening last.
Scorers - Longford: Jack Duggan (1-7, five frees), Cathal Gilligan (1-1), Sean McCormack, Aaron Smyth, Richard Prior and Keelan McGann (0-1, each).
Scorers - Down: Jack Murtagh and John McGovern (3f) (0-5, each), Joe O’Boyle (0-2), Luke Mallon and Sean Og McCusker (0-1, each).
Referee: Margaret Farrelly (Cavan).
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