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Longford out-gun Offaly to set up quarter final clash with Wexford

Michael Quinn excelled in midfield and Brian Kavanagh knocked over some crucial frees.

Longford's Shane Doyle and David Hanlon of Offaly.
Longford's Shane Doyle and David Hanlon of Offaly.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Longford 0-19

Offaly 0-15

LONGFORD ARE THROUGH to a Leinster quarter-final against Wexford, with their superior scoring power getting them over the line in the end. They did waste a number of easy point and goal chances but still had too much for a committed Offaly unit, that had Niall McNamee at his brilliant best.

Critically though, Michael Quinn got on top around the middle and that reduced McNamee’s supply, while Brian Kavanagh and Francis McGee in particular benefited from the flow in their direction.

Offaly were reduced to 14 men in the 66th minute when David Hanlon received his second yellow card and Longford were able to see it home.

The visitors flew out of the traps and McNamee was absolutely magical on occasions as the visitors moved into a 0-9 to 0-5 lead after half an hour. By that stage, Paul Barden had had a goal controversially disallowed and also dragged a one-on-one opportunity wide though, and Longford did gain a greater share of the possession in the last 10 minutes of the opening half.

Points from Sean McCormack, Shane Mulligan and Mark Hughes reduced the margin to the minimum before McNamee slotted a free with the last kick of the period to make it 0-10 to 0-8.

Longford resumed as they ended the first half and three points put them ahead. Although McNamee drew the teams level with a left-footed finish from 40m, it was the home team that was well on top.

Barden had a shot well saved by Alan Mulhall but Quinn swooped to point from the rebound and that kick-started a run of five consecutive points that really decided the tie. Offaly did get it back down to two points but McGee, Barden and Kavanagh all kicked late points to seal the win.

Scorers for Longford: 0-7(5fs); B Kavanagh, F McGee 0-3 each; P Barden, M Hughes 0-2 each; M Quinn, S Mulligan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Offaly: N McNamee 0-7(3fs); J Maher, G Guilfoyle, P Cunningham 0-2 each; R Allen, C Hurley 0-1 each.

Jack Sheedy celebrates a late score Jack Sheedy celebrates a late Longford score. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Longford: Damien Sheridan, Dermot Brady, Barry O’Farrell, Fergal Battrim, Colm P Smyth, Enda Williams, Shane Mulligan, John Keegan, Michael Quinn, Shane Doyle, Francis McGee, Paul Barden, Mark Hughes, Brian Kavanagh, Sean McCormack.

Subs: Peter Foy for Doyle inj (55), Michael Brady for Keegan (57), Aidan Rowan for Hughes (61).

Offaly: Alan Mulhall, David Brady, David Hanlon, Niall Darby, Brian Darby, Johnny Moloney, Michael Brazil, Ruairí Allen, Niall Smith, Eoin Carroll, Graham Guilfoyle, Anton Sullivan, Joe Maher, Niall McNamee, Peter Cunningham.

Subs: Niall Geraghty for Allen (45), Ciarán Hurley for Guilfoyle (58), Paul McPadden for Maher (64).

Referee: Martin Higgins (Fermanagh).

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About the author:

Daragh Ó'Conchúir

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