The Longford squad and mentors celebrate with the Seamus Heaney cup after their win over Wexford
Longford . . . 3-15 Wexford . . . 2-5
An inspired performance from Keelin McGann saw Longford win the Leinster Minor (U-17) football shield title for the second year in a row with a well deserved success over Wexford in the Seamus Heaney Cup final at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise on Wednesday evening.
The outstanding Kenagh lad scored 2-5 and was a constant thorn in Wexford’s side throughout the game and they just couldn’t contain him.
Longford started the game very well and with 30 seconds just gone on the clock Jack Duggan kicked over an excellent point. Minutes later Tiarnan Hussey pointed a free after he was fouled. In the third minute Longford created a goal chance when Ciaran Scanlon brought a fine save out of Wexford keeper Rory Tubritt.
Keelin McGann fired over two points (one free) and Tiarnan Hussey one from play to give Longford a five point lead by the sixth minute.
Wexford slowly began to come into the game and in the 11th minute they scored a goal when a high ball in from Tom Kavanagh was finished to the net by Jack O’Leary who pounced on the breaking ball.
Moments later Longford’s lead was cut to one point but they stayed in front and in the 25th minute they restored their five point advantage when a fine move involving Conor Leonard and Keelin McGann ended with the Kenagh man finishing an excellent shot to the net.
Tiarnan Hussey followed up with a fantastic point to give Longford a six point lead. Wexford battled back and kicked over two points but just before the break another Hussey free left the midlanders leading by 1-9 to 1-4 at half-time.
Just over 30 seconds had elapsed on the clock in the second half when Keelin McGann scored a second goal for Longford. Aaron Farrell and Tiarnan Hussey then kicked over points to increase the lead to ten points by the 37th minute.
Wexford hit back with a point from Liam Doyle and a goal from a penalty converted by Jack O’Leary to close the gap to six points by the 42nd minute.
But Longford consolidate their tight grip on the game with the chief marksmen McGann and Hussey kicking over late points while substitute Ronan Sheahan found the back of the net for the third goal in this emphatic victory.
LONGFORD: Conor Skelly; Sean McCormack, Sean O’Sullivan, Cathal Gilligan; Matthew Shaughnessy, Darren Moffett, Ciaran Scanlon; Conor Leonard, Richard Prior; Keelin McGann (2-5,3f), Aaron Farrell (0-1), Jack Macken; Jack Duggan (0-2), Tiarnan Hussey (0-7,3f), Seadhna Ryan.
Subs:- Daniel Kurkin for M Shaughnessy (38 mins); Kevin Tansey for J Macken (50 mins); Diarmuid Kelly for R Prior (injured, 53 mins); Ronan Sheahan (1-0) for J Duggan (57 mins); Brian Masterson for S Ryan (59 mins); Mark McNerney for S McCormack (a minute into stoppage time).
WEXFORD: Rory Tubritt; Leigh Newport, Brian Cushe, Eamon Doyle; Ryan Connolly, Paddy Darcy, Shane Kehoe (0-1); Ciaran Deeney (0-1), Tom Kavanagh; Liam Crowley, Rory O’Connor, Liam Doyle (0-1); Ruairi O’Brien, Jack O’Leary (2-2,2f, 1-0 penalty), Tiarnan Malone.
Subs:- Jason Bolger for R Connolly (first half stoppage time); Joe Curtis for L Crowley and Oisin Waters for T Malone (half-time); Eoin Foley for R O’Brien (53 mins).
Referee: Seamus Mulhare (Laois).