LONGFORD SET UP a meeting with Dublin in the last four of the Leinster U21 football championship after an extra-time success in O’Moore Park in Portlaoise tonight.
Longford, who reached the 2013 decider, will be hoping to reprise their famous win over Dublin last season in a fortnight’s time. They showed great resilience to claw out victory against Laois tonight.
It was the home side who started brightest with Marty Scully finding the net early on after being set up by Evan O’Carroll. Laois kicked on with Evan Costello in good scoring from but a Liam Connerton goal brought Longford back into contention before the interval as they trailed 1-5 to 1-3.
Laois kicked on to go in front by 1-7 to 1-3 but then Longford recovered with James McGivney and Patrick Kiernan amongst their pointscorers as they went ahead 1-10 to 1-8 approaching the finale.
Laois dug out a draw though with Costello their hero as he notched a late point to send the game into extra-time. Longford went 1-12 to 1-11 clear by the midway mark in extra-time and Barry McKeon notched a crucial point towards the end as they hung on for success.
LONGFORD: Garret Higgins (Carrickedmond); Cian Farrelly (Emmet Óg), Andrew Farrell (Cashel), Anthony McBrien (Abbeylara); Shane Clarke (Emmet Óg), Stephen McLoughlin (Clonguish), Conor Shields (Clonguish); Barry McKeon (Colmcille), James McGivney (St Columba’s); Emmet Noonan (Fr Manning Gaels), Rory O’Connor (Kenagh), Patrick Kiernan (Emmet Óg); Andrew Dalton (Longford Slashers), Robbie Smith (Abbeylara), Liam Connerton (Rathline).
LAOIS: Graham Brody (Portlaoise); Eoin Feane (Portlaoise), Ciaran Lennon (Timahoe), Dan Dunne (St Joseph’s); Donal Ramsbottom (St Joseph’s), Mark O Halloran (Courtwood), Darren Fitzpatrick (Mountmellick); Jason Campion (St Joseph’s), Padraig McEvoy (Ballylinan); Eoin George (Mountmellick), Evan Costello (Emo); Martin Scully (Ballyroan Abbey); Paul Kingston (Arles-Killeen), Michael Keogh (St Joseph’s), Evan O Carroll (Crettyard).
Referee: John Hickey (Carlow)
Laois’ Paul Kingston with Cian Farrell and Stephen McLoughlin of Longford.
Source: ©INPHO/James Crombie
MEATH AND LOUTH will have to replay their Leinster U21 quarter-final next Wednesday night after finishing all square in Dundalk tonight after extra-time.
The early stages of the game were keenly contested but Louth looked to have made a decisive break when Ryan Burns netted in the 23rd minute. But Meath turned it around before the break with Ratoath duo Joey Wallace and Bryan McMahon both notching goals to send Meath into a 2-6 to 1-6 interval advantage.
Meath began the second-half brightly but were rocked by quick Louth goals from Cian Doyle and Ryan Burns that pushed them into a 3-8 to 2-7 lead with 20 minutes remaining.
The action ebbed and flowed in the finale and Neil Shortall looked to have won it for Meath with a late point before Burns rescued Louth by raising that late white flag to tie the teams at 3-9 to 2-12. Extra-time could not seperate the sides and it will now to go a replay.
MEATH: Andy Colgan (Donaghmore/Ashbourne); Simon Carty (Dunderry), Conor McGill (Ratoath), David McQuillan (St Patrick’s); Padraig Harnan (Moynalvey), Shane Amelia (Donaghmore/Ashbourne), Shane McEntee (St Peter’s Dunboyne); Adam Flanagan (Clonard), Conor Sheridan (Simonstown Gaels); Charles Brogan (Carnaross), Bobby O’Brien (Ratoath), Neil Shortall (Curraha); Eamonn Wallace (Ratoath), Bryan McMahon (Ratoath), Joey Wallace (Ratoath).
LOUTH: Jamie Mulholland (St Martin’s); Eoghan Lafferty (St Patrick’s), Dermot Campbell (Dreadnots), Kieran Lenaghan (Naomh Fionnbarra); Darren McMahon (St Mochta’s), Robert Brodigan (Oliver Plunkett’s), Sean Thornton Geraldines); Patrick Reilly (Naomh Brid), Wayne Campbell (St Martin’s); Robert Quigley (O’Connell’s), James Stewart (Na Gaeil), Conall McKeever (Clan na Gael); Cian Doyle (O’Connell’s), Conor Grimes (Glen Emmets), Ryan Burns (Hunterstown Rovers).
Referee: Patrick Maguire (Longford)