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Dublin: 19 °C Monday 20 August, 2018
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Hello! And welcome to today’s football match tracker, where we’ll be keeping you up to date with all the action in Croke Park and in Clones with two decisive provincial semi-finals at stake.

Dublin take on Longford at HQ in Leinster while Donegal meet Down at Clones.

One spot in that Ulster decider has already been filled of course, with Fermanagh stunning Monaghan last weekend to reach a first provincial final since 2008.

In Leinster, meanwhile, either Dublin or Longford will take on the winners of this intriguing battle unfolding between Carlow and Laois, where Turlough O’Brien’s side currently trail by 0-3 to 0-6 at half-time.

We’ll keep you updated with how that one unfolds as we build towards the 4pm throw-ins.

The second-half is underway between Carlow and Laois, with a quick score right out the blocks cutting the deficit to just two points — Laois lead 0-6 to 0-4.

John O'Loughlin under pressure from the Carlow defence Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Brian Glynn gets Laois’s first score of the second half, keeping the difference at two points.

Paul Broderick kicks another score for Carlow, who are keeping within reach. His side trail by just one point with 20 minutes played in the second-half.

Team news for today’s clash between Dublin and Longford sees Jim Gavin name an unchanged side from the one which inflicted a heavy defeat on Wicklow at O’Moore Park in the quarter-finals.

Dublin XV versus Longford:

1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnell’s)

2. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
3. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)
4. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrine’s)

5. Brian Howard (Raheny)
6. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
7. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Michael Darragh Macauley (Ballyboden St Enda’s)

10. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)
11. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
12. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)

13. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
14. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
15. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s)

Laois’s lead is extended to three points as Donie Kingston swings over a free. It’s 0-10 to 0-7 as it stands with just five minutes to go at Croke Park.

Still three points separating the sides with stoppage time approaching. It’s Laois 0-10 — 0-7 Carlow as it stands. Will there be late drama?

Gareth Dillion and Paul Broderick Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Graham Brody with Darragh Foley and Brendan Kavanagh

Ciaran Moran and John Murphy

Another point for Laois and they lead by four points with just one minute of normal time to go. John O’Loughlin with the score.

Darragh Foley kicks over a free for Carlow and the deficit is three points with four minutes of injury time to go.

Here’s the Longford lineup for today’s clash with Dublin. Throw-in is due in just under 15 minutes.

It’s all over at Croke Park and Laois have booked their place in the Leinster SFC final, beating Carlow by four points.

Players and management have arrived in Clones. Throw-in coming up shortly.

The Down players arrive in Clones Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Mark McHugh and the Donegal players arrive

Dublin 0-3 Longford 0-0

3 mins – In the blink of an eye scores from Philly McMahon, Con O’Callaghan and Ciaran Kilkenny has the Dubs three points up in as many minutes. A mini-blitz.

Donegal 0-2 Down 0-0

5 mins – Paul Brennan and Michael Murphy with a pair of points has Declan Bonner’s side two to the good early on in Clones.

Dublin 0-4 Longford 0-2

7 mins – Points from Robbie Quinn and Micky Quinn cut the deficit to one. A good spell for Longford keeps them within touching distance, however Paddy Andrews flies up the other end with a score of his own.

Dublin 0-4 Longford 0-3

8 mins – Now then, a fine score from distance via the right boot of Donal McElligott flies over the head of Stephen Cluxton between the posts and over the bar. A superb strike.

Donegal 0-3 Down 0-0

9 mins – Paddy McBrearty sends another free over the bar for Donegal and their lead is stretched to three points with just under ten minutes played.

Dublin 0-7 Longford 0-3

12 mins – Three fine scores in a row from Michael Darragh MacAuley, Brian Fenton and Brian Howard in a very short space of time. Plenty of space in the final third to take advantage of for Dublin and their lead now stands at four.

Donegal 0-4 Down 0-0

11 mins – Caolan Ward with a fourth point without reply for Donegal.

Dublin 0-8 Longford 0-3

16 mins – Dean Rock swings over a curling free from close range and there’s five points between the sides now. Dublin yet to get out of first gear, but their lead only continues to grow. Brian Fenton has another chance from the resulting kick-off, but his effort drags high and wide.

Dublin 1-8 Longford 0-4

19 mins – The first goal of the afternoon comes following some fine work from Michael Darragh MacAuley, who puts the ball on a plate inside the box for Dean Rock to push the ball into the back of the net with ease.

Donegal 0-7 Down 0-0

19 mins – Michael Murphy with a brace and Paddy McBrearty with another score extends their  side’s lead to seven points. All too easy for Donegal so far in this Ulster SFC semi-final.

Dublin 1-9 Longford 0-4

23mins –  James McGivney is shown a red card for Longford for what was a very, very late shoulder mid-air on Stephen Cluxton. The Dublin goalkeeper was hurt by the challenge, but following some treatment has returned to the field of play.

Dublin 2-9 Longford 0-4

24 mins – Paul Mannion goes up the other end and fires the ball into the back of the net. His side now lead 11 points and Longford have nothing less than a mountain to climb with a man sent off.

Donegal 1-9 Down 0-1

25 mins – It’s all happening in Clones as Leo McLoone scores for Donegal. Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh and another for Murphy sees their side 11 points ahead.

Donegal 1-11 Down 0-5

30 mins – Scores from Harrison Down Donal O’Hare have Down trailing by just eight points now — they have started to find their shooting boots following a quiet opening spell.

Dublin 2-12 Longford 0-6

35 mins – Approaching half-time and Jim Gavin’s men lead by 12 points. Brian Fenton with the latest score 35m out from goal. It’s far too easy for the All-Ireland champions who are camped inside their opponents half.

Dublin 2-12 Longford 0-7

36 mins – A fantastic score off the ground from goalkeeper Paddy Collum receives a chorus of applause from the visiting supporters. His effort cuts the deficit to 11 points — a massive challenge lies ahead after the break.

Dublin with a 12 point lead heading into the break. Jim Gavin’s men have gone largely untested so far and it seems to be business as usual with another one-sided Leinster Championship encounter for the All-Ireland champions.

Brian Fenton and Dean Rock have been in fine form against a tepid and frustrated Longford back six. James McGivney’s red card will be a big talking point after this game following his poorly timed elbow into Stephen Cluxton.

Donegal, meanwhile, lead by eight points up in Clones. Paddy McBrearty and Michael Murphy have taken plenty of scores, with Leo McLoone’s goal putting some distance between his side and Down. They have rallied, however.

Following a period of 25 minutes and 1-8 without reply, Down have clawed their way back to have at least a chance of causing an upset and turning this semi-final around — they will be aided by the sending off of Neil McGee, who was shown a red card for Donegal.

Dublin 2-13 Longford 0-7

36 mins – A handful of changes from Jim Gavin at the break sees Evan Comerford replace Stephen Cluxton in goal, while Jack McCaffrey comes on in place on Jonny Cooper, while Darren Daly replaces Michael Fitzsimons.

Here’s the best of the first half action.

Dublin 2-14 Longford 0-8

39 mins – The first score of the second half comes from Robbie Smith, who points for Longford. At the other end goalkeeper Paddy Collum produces a stunning save from close range, before Dean Rock slotted a free over from 15 yards following a late foul on Brian Fenton.

Donegal 1-12 Down 0-7

36 mins – Shay Millar was shown a black card for Down and is replaced by Sean Dorman. Meanwhile a half-time switch saw Niall McParland replaced by Ruairi Wells.

Dublin 2-14 Longford 0-10

43 mins – A first score of the second half for Dessie Reynolds, before Darren Gallagher adds another with a fine, curling kick from distance. However referee Maurice Deegan calls for Hawkeye to determine whether or not the shot did in fact go over. The replay shows that, in fact, Gallagher’s shot flew just narrowly wide. 10 points separate the sides.

Donegal 1-15 Down 0-7

43 mins – Michael Murphy with Donegal’s first score of the second half before Paddy McBrearty slots over a free, and then another from play. Donegal lead by 11 points.

Donegal 2-16 Down 0-7

45 mins – Jamie Brennan scores Donegal’s second goal of the afternoon before adding a point just moments later. His side lead by 15 points and there’s some distance between the teams now. Down have a long way to go.

Dublin 2-15 Longford 0-11

51 mins – More switches from Jim Gavin now as Kevin McManamon comes on for Paddy Andrews, while Colm Basquel replaces Paul Mannion. Basquel makes an immediate impact with a right-footed point from the edge of the D.

At the other end Sean McCormack swings over a fine finish from the left touchline.

Dublin 2-17 Longford 0-12

55 mins – Rian Brady with another score for Longford, who have been vastly improved after the break. There was a chance for a goal at the other end for Dublin, however they just managed to overplay the ball with a set of hand passes inside the penalty area.

Donegal 2-17 Down 0-9

53 mins – Connaire Harrison with the latest score for Down, who now trail by 14 points.

Dublin 2-20 Longford 0-12

61 mins – Four scores without reply for Dublin now, who are absolutely cantering towards victory. Dean Rock with a second successive free which floats between the posts with just nine minutes to go now.

Donegal 2-19 Down 0-10

62 mins – Donal O’Hare swings over a free for Down, but this game has gotten away from his side and it seems too little too late. At the other end Stephen McMenamin responds with a point for Donegal with eight minutes remaining.

Dublin 2-22 Longford 0-12

68 mins – Yet another superb save from Longford goalkeeper Collum prevents a certain goal.

He gets down low following a snappy Dublin counter into the box, seeing the ball re-bound back off his legs and away from close range.

Ciaran Kilkenny collects possession and points, with Brian Fenton adding score another a few moments later. 16 points between the teams.

Donegal 2-20 Down 0-11

66 mins – A point each from Paddy McBrearty and Conor Maginn keeps 15 points between the teams. Donegal are just a few minutes away from confirming a Ulster SFC final clash with Fermanagh.

Dublin 2-24 Longford 0-12

71 mins – Brian Fenton with another stunning point for Dublin and he really has had a brilliant afternoon in the summer sunshine at Croke Park. Longford have not registered a score since the 53rd minute.

Dublin 2-25 Longford 0-12

74 mins – Casteknock’s Ciaran Kilkenny with another fine point from distance and that should be that with four minutes of injury time played.

Donegal 2-22 Down 0-12

72 mins – A late point from play courtesy of Mark McHugh extends Donegal’s lead to 16 points in stoppage time.

It’s all over in Clones too as Declan Bonner’s Donegal book their place in the Ulster SFC final with a 13 point victory over Down. They will now face Fermanagh in the decider on 24 June.

About the author:

Aaron Gallagher

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