Longford senior football manager Padraic Davis. Photo: Declan Gilmore
Building on their fine success away to Kildare the previous week, Longford scored a comfortable win over Carlow at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday with six points to spare in the finish.
Longford . . . 1-13 Carlow . . . 0-10
So regardless of the result against Wicklow (away) in the remaining group fixture on Saturday 4 January, Longford are through to the O’Byrne Cup senior football tournament semi-final.
Fielding a few newcomers as manager Padraic Davis continues to experiment, the home county led by 0-8 to 0-4 at the break and should have been even further ahead as Joseph Hagan failed to convert a couple of glorious goal chances.
Hagan was clean through in the 27th minute but his point-blank shot was saved by the Carlow keeper Robert Sansom and the Dromard attacker shot against the crossbar in the 33rd minute.
Longford eventually scored a goal in the 56th minute when Oran Kenny and Colm P Smyth linked up to leave Dessie Reynolds with the simple task of flicking the ball to the net.
At that stage Carlow were trailing by 1-12 to 0-6, with Longford midfielder Darren Gallagher accounting for four points, and it was all over as a contest.
LONGFORD: Pat Farrell (St Brigid’s Killashee); Patrick Fox (Mullinalaghta St Columba’s), Andrew Farrell (Cashel), PJ Masterson (Abbeylara); Iarla O’Sullivan (Rathcline), Barry O’Farrell (Carrickedmond), Gerard Flynn (Longford Slashers, 0-1); Darren Gallagher (St Mary’s Granard, 0-4, two frees), Kevin Diffley (Ballymahon); Peter Lynn (Longford Slashers), Colm P Smyth (Abbeylara), Dessie Reynolds (Sean Connolly’s, 1-1); Rian Brady (Mullinalaghta St Columba’s, 0-3, one from mark), Joseph Hagan (Dromard, 0-1, mark), Oran Kenny (Rathcline, 0-2).
Subs (unlimited):- Liam Hughes (Killoe Emmet Og) for I O’Sullivan (injured, 28 mins); Darragh Doherty (Mostrim, 0-1) for P Lynn (52 mins); Gary Rogers (Mullinalaghta St Columba’s) for G Flynn (52 mins); Aidan McGuire (Carrickedmond) for O Kenny (58 mins); Shane Farrell (Kenagh) for P Fox (63 mins); Daire Duggan (Sean Connolly’s) for D Gallagher (63 mins); Eoghan McCormack (Carrickedmond) for D Reynolds (63 mins); Michael Cahill (Carrickedmond) for PJ Masterson (65 mins); Thomas McGann (Kenagh) for J Hagan (65 mins).
CARLOW: Robert Sansom; Danny Moran, Shane Redmond, Liam Roberts; Stephen Reilly (0-1), Ray Walker, Niall Roche; Sean Murphy (0-1), John Murphy; Paul Broderick (0-4, three frees), Darragh Foley (0-1, free), Conor Doyle; Andrew Kehoe (0-1), Conor Crowley, Daniel St Ledger (0-2, one ‘45’).
Subs:- Josh Moore for N Roche (half-time); Diarmuid Walsh for A Kehoe (44 mins); Mikey Bambrick for D Moran (52 mins); James McGrath for C Doyle (55 mins); Alan Kelly for C Crowley (70 mins).
Referee: Ciaran Reilly (Dublin).