All Ireland SFC R1: Longford secure victory
All-Ireland SFC Round 1 Qualifier
LONGFORD 2-11 CARLOW 0-7
By Kevin Egan at Netwatch Cullen Park
It was all about overcoming obstacles at Netwatch Cullen Park in Carlow this afternoon, and Longford seemed far more interested in clearing theirs as they cruised to an easy win over a lacklustre Carlow side at Netwatch Cullen Park.
With just seven days to recover from their heavy defeat to Kildare in the Leinster Championship and centre forward Barry McKeon added to an injury/absentee list that includes Robbie Smyth, Darren Gallagher and Rian Brady, they showed far more purpose and intensity, even if a final tally of 18 wides would suggest that Padraic Davis will demand some shooting work at training in advance of their next outing.
Paul Broderick, Sean Murphy and Brendan Murphy were all unavailable to Carlow, as were manager and coach Turlough O’Brien and Stephen Poacher, and it looked as if the heart was ripped out of the home side as they never raised a gallop.
A free from David McGivney was the only score in the opening 10 minutes as Carlow chose to drop deep and commit very few men to the attack, which forced the away side to try their luck with a number of shots from distance – a policy which was a huge factor in their first half tally of nine wides.
That might have led to a degree of nervousness in Longford’s play had they not been settled by a goal after 11 minutes from James McGivney.
Wing backs Colm P Smyth and Darren Quinn were very influential in the opening half, combining to score 0-3 between them, and it was a run from Smyth down the right wing that set up the goal. He exchanged passes with Darragh Doherty and then floated a hand pass over the head of Robert Sansom to McGivney at the far post. McGivney’s attempt to palm the ball in came off the post but fell perfectly for the Mullinalaghta man to slam it in at the second attempt.
Three of the next four points went to Carlow as Longford’s wides tally mounted, with Diarmuid Walshe and Darragh Foley both on target from decent distances, but Longford rallied again before the break to make it 1-5 to 0-5, which was the very least that their more ambitious play deserved.
The second half started in the same vein as the first, with nine scoreless minutes brought to an end when Gary Rogers became the first starting Longford forward to score from play in two hours of football. Diarmuid Walshe replied with a free for Carlow but by the time the home side scored again, Longford were out of sight.
All the play was again at the Carlow end of the field and points followed from Daniel Mimnagh, James McGivney and the lively Joseph Hagan before a late goal from Patrick Fox added a final flourish to the scoreline.
Scorers for Longford: James McGivney 1-1, Patrick Fox 1-0, David McGivney 0-3 (3fs), Darren Quinn 0-2, Colm P Smyth, Gary Rogers, Joseph Hagan, Daniel Mimnagh (f), and John Keegan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Carlow: Diarmuid Walshe 0-4 (2fs), Darragh Foley 0-2 (1f), Jordan Morrissey 0-1.
LONGFORD: Paddy Collum; Patrick Fox, Donal McElligott, Barry O’Farrell; Colm P Smyth, Pádraig McCormack, Darren Quinn; John Keegan, David McGivney; Gary Rogers, Andrew Farrell, Michael Quinn; Daniel Mimnagh, James McGivney, Darragh Doherty.
Subs: Joseph Hagan for Farrell (44), Shane Kenny for Doherty (53), Aidan McElligott for Rogers (57), Mark Hughes for D McElligott (62), Conor Farrell for D Quinn (66), Kevin Gilmore for Mimnagh (69).
CARLOW: Robert Sansom; Liam Roberts, Shane Redmond, Conor Lawlor; Ciarán Moran, Daniel St. Ledger, Brendan Kavanagh; Jordan Morrissey, Eoghan Ruth; Diarmuid Walshe, Seán Gannon, Conor Doyle; Darragh O’Brien, Darragh Foley, John Murphy.
Subs: Danny Moran for Roberts (53), Josh Moore for Murphy (55), Hughie Gahan for Ruth (62), Jamie Clarke for O’Brien (65).
REFEREE: Ciarán Brannigan (Down).