Longford League 06 Boys win elite Galway Cup tournament

Longford League 06 Boys soccer squad pictured following their fantastic success in the Elite Galway Cup Tournament last week

Longford League 06 Boys soccer squad pictured following their fantastic success in the Elite Galway Cup Tournament last week

06 Boys
Longford League 3 WWEC 1
Longford League 3 Shrewsbury Town 1
Longford League 3 Aisling/Annacotty 0
Longford League 2 West Cork 0
Longford League 1 NEC 9

06 Elite Galway Cup Final
Longford 2 Waterford 0

Match One Vs WWEC: What a tournament for the 06 Boys from the opening minute of the opening game against WWEC this Longford team played with a swagger and confidence that we have not seen before.

Femi and Saliu were excellent while Ben O’Reilly, Axel Nugent, Sean Egan, Dara Greenan and Kevin Baskett made telling contributions. O’Reilly scored the opening goal up from the back for a corner he netted from close range. Darragh Egan made a great save to deny WWEC. However WWEC did level things after 15 minutes.

WWEC had a couple of chances but keeper Egan and defenders Dylan Edwards, Patrick Clancy and Patrick Monaghan held firm. At the other end Alex Nugent put in a great cross the saw Saliu connect only for a defender to clear off the line. Femi put Longford back in front when he was played in by Oisin Connolly. After some great build up play involving Adam Reynolds and Cormac Flynn, Femi got his second to set us on our way to a 3-1 win.

Match two Vs Shrewsbury Town: Next up for Longford was Shrewsbury Town. Saliu opened the scoring and a brace from Femi give Longford a comfortable 3-1 win.

Darragh Kelly, Daniel Carey, Cian O’Byrne, Conor Sharpe and Sean Egan were very impressive in an excellent all round team performance. Shane Donohoe took over in goal for the injured Darragh Egan against Aisling/Annacotty. Longford won 3-1 with Femi getting 2 and Saliu also scoring.

Donohoe was a safe keeper, Sean Egan was superb at the back while Kevin Baskett worked hard in midfield.

Also read: Family day at Roscommon Races next Monday

Match three + four - West Cork & NEC: On Friday morning Longford faced West Cork. The 10.40 am kick-off proved difficult for Longford who travelled down each day.

However, Longford were the better team and won 2-0. After a scoreless first Femi scored direct from the kick-off in the second half. Dylan Edwards added the second and Longford saw out the game. Paddy Mollaghan, Cian O'Byrne and Conor Sharpe all played well. This win booked our place in the Elite Cup final on Saturday afternoon.

After lunch we played NEC with the manager resting some players and a few more carrying injuries Longford were well beaten in this fixture.

Also read: Longford to play host to Ray Flynn Mile on Tuesday, September 3

The Final Vs Waterford: On Saturday morning the weather was very bad in the west.

Heavy rain and wind made it difficult but the pitches at Drom were in great nick. All games were going ahead as scheduled. At 4.30pm it was still lashing down as Longford and Waterford took the field. Both sides had good support Waterford had an early chance and forced a corner. Keeper Shane Donohoe was quick off his line as danger loomed.

Patrick Clancy and Dylan Edwards were outstanding, reading the game and finding colleagues with clever passes. Sean Egan and Dara Greenan were solid while Kevin Baskett covered a lot of ground and broke up several Waterford attacks. Alex Nugent and Conor Sharpe both used the ball well and had the beating of their opponents. Femi used his skill and pace but at the break it was scoreless.

From the restart Femi scored without a Waterford player touching the ball. This was the second time in the tournament he had done this and his strike from half way bounced in front of the keeper and went into the corner of the net.

Five minutes later Femi was on target again to double our lead. While Waterford had a few chances Longford saw out the game and were worthy and comfortable winners. It was no surprise when Femi was named as player of the tournament.

Longford 06 squad: S Donohoe, A Reynolds, D Edwards, D Greenan (Abbey Rovers); C Flynn, D Kelly, K Baskett, D Carey, P Mollaghan, Femi (Newtown); S Egan, D Egan, O Connolly (Ballymahon); C O’Byrne, A Nugent (Mostrim); B O’Reilly, C Sharpe (UCL Harps); P Clancy (Stonepark); Rian O’Boyle (Kenagh United); Saliu (Melview).

WATCH| Longford Town come from behind to reach second round of the FAI Cup

O7 Boys

Third fourth place play-off
Longford 2 Sligo/Leitrim 2 (Longford won on penalties)

Longford 1 Mervue 2
Longford 3 North Tipp 1
Longford 3 Shrewsbury 2
Longford 5 Salthill 1

The 07 Boys started with a win over North Tipp. Christian Donlon and Goodness have some understanding of each other play. Both have found the net in every game with Goodness scoring a real beauty against Salthill Devon.

But two players don’t make a team. Connor McHugh showed great skill to round the keeper against Shrewsbury before being pulled down. Alan Mimnagh powered home a header against Salthill. Tommy Nolan and Finn Raeside created chances for both Donlon and Goodness. Kyle Russell, Liam Donohoe and Oisin Kane are solid defenders. Stefan Mihai, Johnny Gavin and Alex Yevtushenko have played well when called upon.

On Friday afternoon we played Mervue in the Elite Cup semi-final. Donlon got in for an early goal after Liam Donohoe and Goodness split the Mervue rearguard. Longford enjoyed a lot of possession with McHugh, Mimnagh and Donlon all working the Mervue keeper. Marsh brought off an excellent save to keep us in front. However following a corner the Galway side equalised. Longford still carried the game to their opponents and had a couple of chances but it was Mervue who got the next goal to lead 2-1 at the break. The second half was end to end stuff with both sides playing football of a high standard. But unfortunately for Longford there was no change to the scoreline.

Longford played Sligo/Leitrim in the third place play-off on Saturday in poor conditions. Sligo/Leitrim had the wind in the opening half and scored two first half goals. On the changeover Longford were camped in the Sligo/Leitrim half. Alan Mimnagh got one back while Conor McHugh levelled it up to take the game to penalties (no extra time). John Marsh saved one penalty while Christian Donlon, Tommy Nolan and Kyle Russell were on target from the spot as Longford finished 3rd out of 16 teams.

Longford 07 squad: J Marsh, F Reaside, L Donohoe, J Carey, K Russell, O Kane, C Donlon, Goodness, C McHugh, T Nolan, A Mimnagh, J Murtagh, C Flynn, S Mihai, J Gavin, A Yevtushenko, K Hudson, C Fagan.

Also read: Eighty-five Longford children competing at Aldi Community Games National Festival this weekend in UL

So 11 games played and 9 wins. 06 Elite Cup winners and third out of 16 in 07 boys. A fantastic week for the Longford League. It was hard work with early morning starts and late finishes but it was all worthwhile.

The League would like to thank the players who were a credit to their clubs and their parents. The parents who travelled to support the teams.

Finally a big thank you to our coaches Stephen Nicholson, Noel Rogers, Colm Egan, Mick Kane, Ben Marsh and Longford RDO Graham Kane.

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.