Longford senior football manager Padraic Davis. Photo: Declan Gilmore
A 10 point win away to Carlow on Sunday and into Round 2 of the All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers, Longford manager Padraic Davis couldn’t ask for anything more from his players.
Davis said after the game at Netwatch Cullen Park that the objective for Longford was to get the win and be in the draw for the next round with last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists Tyrone the opposition at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday 22 June.
“The whole objective coming to Carlow was to make sure we were in that draw. We have done that and we can’t ask for a whole lot more.
“It was a matter of getting in here, smashing and grabbing and I think the lads have done that. We weren’t playing the game on our terms certainly in the first 20 minutes but we came in at half-time and we said ‘we weren’t going to panic’. They kept at it and they got the result.”
Although they were playing their third championship game in the space of a couple of weeks Longford looked fresh against a poor Carlow side. He was surprised with the margin of victory because Netwatch Cullen Park is a tough venue to go to.
“The lads put in a big shift. They deserve great credit for that and the winning margin of 10 points.
“Carlow in recent times haven’t been beaten by great margins, certainly at home. We are very happy with the result. It was a matter of just getting into the next round and we are there.”
Longford’s first goal was scored by James McGivney, no stranger to scoring goals for club or county, but the scorer of the second goal might have caught a lot by surprise - corner back Patrick Fox. The Mullinalaghta man finished off a fine Longford move.
Davis was delighted for Fox: “It’s certainly a rare collector’s item. He gives everything the other end of the field keeping the goals out and has for both his club and his county. He has been a marvellous defender and will be for years to come. When he gets his chance to rattle the net at the other end I think everybody is delighted for him. He is a very popular individual within the group. The pressure is now on him to do it the next day,” the Longford boss joked.
As well as Fox getting on the scoresheet the Longford wing-backs Colm P Smyth and Darren Quinn (2) also got up to score important points in the first half.
Davis said: “The two lads were very disciplined in the jobs they were asked to do. The tasks they were given was to get as wide as possible. It was nice to see them rewarded for that. Colm P scored a lovely point and Darren’s points came when we were struggling for scores.”
Davis used his bench on Sunday and was pleased with each players’ contribution especially young Joe Hagan. “Joe Hagan caused Carlow unbelievable problems on his entry into the game. For a young guy he has no fear.
He knows the challenge; he has to reproduce it, as do all the lads. You have to keep backing up each performance. That’s the challenge now for the team collectively and as individuals.”