Dublin: 10°C Saturday 23 October 2021

'It brings lads closer together' - Longford rejoice after ending 30-year wait for Leinster semi-final

Longford edged out Meath to book a place in the last four of the Leinster SFC.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

LONGFORD STAR MICKEY Quinn says ending a 30-year wait to compete in a Leinster semi-final has helped bring the players closer together and makes the seasons without success worthwhile.

The midlanders held off a comeback from Meath at Pearse Park on Sunday to book a final-four meeting with the reigning Leinster champions Dublin on 10 June.

It was their first championship win over the Royals since 1982, and their first win in the Leinster competition since a victory over Offaly in 2015.

Quinn wasn’t even born the last time Longford contested a Leinster semi-final and he says that it was a significant occasion for the players and supporters who have suffered through the lean years.

“To play a home game in Pearse Park on a day like the one yesterday was a great boost for the county and a great buzz obviously,” he told The42.

It reunites the team that bit more. It brings lads closer together. There is that sense that you question the structure and things year in year out and whether it’s actually worth it.”

Darren Gallagher celebrates at the final whistle Darren Gallagher celebrating Longford's win over Meath. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Quinn previously played Aussie Rules for three years after signing as an international rookie with Essendon in 2008.

He has established himself as a key player in the Longford team since his return, but having sampled life away from Ireland, the secondary school teacher can understand why players in the county choose to travel during the championship months.

“You see players heading off for the summer. It would come into your mind and it would make sense, that’s the way it’s heading at the moment.

“There’s a lot of players who have the opportunity to enjoy themselves for the summer rather than putting their lives on hold for two possibly three games.

That’s difficult but a win like that makes it worthwhile and whether they’re once in a blue moon or once every couple of years, it definitely makes it worthwhile.”

Known as the ‘Qualifier Kings’ who were on the cusp of completing 10 consecutive first round qualifier victories this year, Quinn insists that Longford are ‘quite happy’ to push that project back for another day as they look to the next round of this Leinster campaign.

Dublin inflicted a 4-25 to 1-11 hammering on Wicklow at the weekend, and Longford need little reminding of the events that unfolded when they last collided with Dublin in the Leinster championship.

A dejected Michael Quinn Quinn after Longford's loss to Dublin in the 2015 Leinster SFC. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Quinn confesses that his side were somewhat ‘naive’ going into that fixture in 2015 where they took a 27-point drubbing from Jim Gavin’s charges, but they are hopeful of earning some redemption when the sides meet again this time around.

“It doesn’t help getting those kind of defeats but I think we got a bit of a run at the qualifiers that year too.

You have to be realistic. Longford aren’t in a position to win an All-Ireland and unless something crazy happens and you hope and you dream. We’re in a position where we wanted promotion from Division 3 and we wanted to win our first round of Leinster.

“They were the two initial aims for the year and we were very unlucky to miss out in the league but we’re after winning our first round in Leinster and we can go again.

“Not every team can walk away winning the Sam Maguire at the end of the year so there’s no point being unrealistic. You need progression and I think this year Longford has progressed.”

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

AIB extend sponsorship of All-Ireland Football Championship through to 2023

Good news for Cork forward O’Neill as he avoids knee ligament damage

About the author:

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel