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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019

'It was maybe a bit emotional for our boys coming home' - Longford's great run ends

Denis Connerton felt recent exertions finally caught up on his side.

Longford manager Denis Connerton with his Cork counterpart Peadar Healy after Saturday's game.
Longford manager Denis Connerton with his Cork counterpart Peadar Healy after Saturday's game.
Image: Tom Beary/INPHO

THEY HAVE LIT up the Gaelic football landscape in recent weeks but Longford just came up short on Saturday as they tried to add another qualifier scalp.

After consigning Down and Monaghan to early summer exits, Longford saw their efforts to defeat another Division 1 team in Cork thwarted.

Manager Denis Connerton felt their recent exertions finally caught up on them and that their opponents strength in depth was also a difference.

“Looking back over our run, we played over 230 minutes of football against Division 1 teams and it took 210 minutes to break us down.

“For us, that’s good going. It was maybe a bit emotional for our boys coming home today and maybe mentally we were tired. Physically, we were definitely tired.

“Cork are a classy side. They’ve a huge number of household names in their ranks between All Stars and All-Ireland winners. They asked a lot of questions of us and unfortunately a lot of the question we didn’t have the answers to today.

Peadar Healy and Cork fans celebrate Cork boss Peadar Healy celebrates with fans after Saturday's game Source: Tom Beary/INPHO

“Some of the players that they brought on not too many teams in the country have players like that sitting on the bench.

“They are a very big county with a huge selection and in fairness to them all we can do is put our hands up and say well done.

“The draw wasn’t favourable to us at any stage. We got very difficult draws. The fact we got difficult draws eventually it was going to take it out of us.

“We wouldn’t have been used to play that calibre of team. They are brilliant teams and whether it’s going to Down, Monaghan or playing Cork in your own backyard the calibre of that opposition is huge and that was very difficult for us.”

The progress offers Longford a platform to build on for 2016 but Connerton is unsure whether the development will entice more players to commit to the Longford cause.

“I honestly don’t know. The 27 guys who saw out the season with us have been exemplary, have been terrific guys and played in a fashion that all the Longford people liked.

“Football at this level is all about being dedicated to your task. It’s a lifestyle more than anything else. The boys that stuck at it have displayed that lifestyle and have fought through thick and thin for it.

“We just came short and maybe on other days if the wind wasn’t as difficult we may have done a wee bit better.”

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‘He can get a bit excited at times and probably we were looking for him’

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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