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Clare pay the penalty as 14-man Longford march on in the qualifiers

Longford survived a late red card to book their place in Round 3 of the qualifiers.

Brian Kavanagh scores Brian Kavanagh puts his penalty high and left to score Longford's opening goal. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Longford 2-12

Clare 1-12

FOURTEEN-MAN LONGFORD advanced to the last 16 of the All-Ireland Championship following a strong finish on away soil in Cusack Park, Ennis.

Twelve months on from a famous qualifier victory over Derry, Jack Sheedy’s side prevailed despite losing Diarmuid Masterson to a second yellow with only 13 minutes remaining as Brian Kavanagh fired the last three points to take the honours.

In a seesaw tie, Longford appeared the more economical side particularly in the opening half against the conditions when trailing by the minimum after only kicking one wide in contrast to their more wasteful hosts who saw nine efforts go amiss.

While Clare captain Gary Brennan opened the scoring, it was the visitors who settled quicker when the lively Liam Connerton was held going through on goal and Brian Kavanagh fired a sixth minute penalty past goalkeeper Joe Hayes to give Longford a 1-1 to 0-2 advantage.

With momentum behind them, Connerton and Michael Quinn followed up with points to extend their advantage to four by the midway point of the half.

The hosts finally settled however and while they were unlucky not to grab a goal when a deflected Brennan free had to be scrambled away by goalkeeper Paddy Collum at his right post, they would demonstrate their renewed challenge for the second quarter by outscoring their Leinster opponents by 1-4 to 0-1 in the next 15 minutes. Brennan and the returning David Tubridy kicked eye-catching points while Dean Ryan was on the end of a flowing move to raid for a 26th minute goal at 1-6 to 1-4.

Longford did level up the tie once more by the 35th minute, only for an injury-time point from Sean Collins to give Clare the edge by the break at 1-7 to 1-6.

The same pattern emerged in the new half as Longford got the decisive early goal on the counter-attack with an inch perfect Dessie Reynolds lob to snatch back the advantage.

With Clare failing to take their goal-scoring chances at the other end, it would take the home side until the 55th minute to recover from the blow but crucially Longford never allowed the Banner to hit the front especially after being reduced to 14.

Longford kept their composure though, with Kavanagh converting two frees before a worthy 70th minute point from the right ensured a place in the next round.

Scorers for Clare: David Tubridy 0-5 (3f); Dean Ryan 1-1; Gary Brennan 0-2 (1f), Eoin Cleary 0-2 (1f); Pat Burke, Sean Collins 0-1 each

Scorers for Longford: Brian Kavanagh 1-5 (1-0 Pen, 4f); Dessie Reynolds 1-1; Liam Connerton 0-2, Rory Connor 0-2; Michael Quinn, Diarmuid Masterson 0-1 each

Clare

1. Joe Hayes (Lissycasey)

2. Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg)
3. Kevin Harnett (Meelick)
4. Martin McMahon (Kilmurry Ibrickane)

5. Shane Hickey (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
6. Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown)
7. Dean Ryan (Éire Óg)

8. Gary Brennan (Clondegad)
9. Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)

10. Sean Collins (Cratloe)
11. Jamie Malone (Corofin)
12. Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane)

13. Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
14. David Tubridy (Doonbeg)
15. Pat Burke (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin)

Subs:

21. Shane McGrath (Thomas Davis, Dublin) for O’Connor (18, inj)
18. Enda Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Cleary (53)
17. Steven Collins (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) for Kelly (59, inj)

Longford

1. Paddy Collum (Fr. Manning Gaels)

3. Barry O’Farrell (Carrickedmond)
18. Cian Farrelly (Killoe Young Emmets)
4. Fergal Battrim (Abbeylara)

5. Colm P. Smyth (Abbeylara)
6. Barry Gilleran (Longford Slashers)
7. Diarmuid Masterson (Dromard)

8. Kevin Diffley (Ballymahon)
9. Michael Quinn (Killoe Young Emmets)

10. Padraig Gill (Fr. Manning Gaels)
15. Dessie Reynolds (Sean Connolly’s)
11. Ronan McEntire (Dromard)

12. Rory Connor (Kenagh)
14. Brian Kavanagh (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin)
13. Liam Connerton (Rathcline)

Subs:

22. Shane Doyle (Kenagh) for Gill (47)
23. Ross McInerney (Dromard) for McEntire (60)
25. Peter Foy (Longford Slashers) for Connor (65)

Roscommon brush criticism aside to keep their championship hopes alive in Cavan

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About the author:

Eoin Brennan

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