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Longford see off Meath fightback to secure first Leinster semi-final in 30 years

Longford will face Dublin in their first Leinster semi in three decades.

Longford 0-16

Meath 0-14

Seamus Morris reports from Pearse Park

LONGFORD RECORDED THEIR first championship win over Meath since 1982 with a two-point victory in a gripping encounter at Pearse Park.

The hosts withstood a Meath rally in the final quarter to emerge triumphant, and now progress to a semi-final meeting with Dublin.

Graham Reilly dejected at the end of the game Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Played in front of an attendance of 5,591, the first half produced entertaining football with some excellent scores.

James McGivney had a goal chance in the 11th minute but opted to kick over the crossbar instead, giving Longford a 0-3 to 0-2 lead.

Meath squandered a goal chance nine minutes later as Donal Keogan blasted wide of the posts having been set up by Graham Reilly.

The Royals were then denied a three-pointer in the 24th minute when Cillian O’Sullivan’s shot was saved by Longford ‘keeper Paddy Collum.

The sides went in level at the break at 0-7 apiece.

Longford pushed on in the third quarter. Points from brothers James and David McGivney steered them into a lead of 0-11 to 0-8.

Shane McEntee is shown a red card by referee Sean Hurson Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Meath were reduced to 14 men approaching the hour mark when Shane McEntee was shown a red card for an off-the-ball incident.

Longford moved into a five-point lead a minute later as Conor Berry sent one over.

Meath, however, came storming back into the game with four unanswered points through Donal Lenihan (free), Sean Curran, Eamon Wallace and Joey Wallace.

Eamonn Wallace’s effort was a shot on goal that was brilliantly saved by Paddy Collum before dropping over for a single.

James McGivney had his own shot on goal saved by Meath ‘keeper Andrew Colgan with three minutes of normal time remaining.

Darren Gallagher celebrates at the final whistle Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Longford, though, held their nerve and a point from sub Sean McCormack gave the home side two points to spare as the final whistle sounded to bedlam at Pearse Park.

Dennis Connerton’s men now advance to the county’s first Leinster semi-final in 30 years.

Scorers for Longford: J McGivney 0-4, D Gallagher 0-3, R Brady (0-2), P Collum (1 45), D Reynolds, D. McGivney (1f), D Mimnagh, C Berry, R. Smyth, Sean McCormack 0-1 each.

Scorers for Meath: G Reilly 0-3, D Lenihan (1f), P Kennelly 0-2 each, B Menton, B Brennan, D Keogan, M Burke, S Curran, E Wallace, J Wallace 0-1 each.

Longford

1. Paddy Collum (Fr. Manning Gaels)

2. Padraig McCormack (Emmet Og Killoe)
3. Michael Quinn (Emmet Og Killoe)
4. Patrick Fox (St. Columba’s)

5. Donal McElligott (St. Columba’s, captain)
6. Diarmuid Masterson (Dromard)
7. Daniel Mimnagh (Emmet Og Killoe)

8. Ronan McEntire (Dromard)
9. Conor Berry (Abbeylara)

10. Dessie Reynolds (Sean Connolly’s)
11. Darren Gallagher (St. Mary’s)
12. David McGivney (St. Columba’s)

13. Robbie Smyth (Abbeylara)
14. James McGivney (St. Columba’s)
15. Rian Brady (St. Columba’s)

Subs: Sean McCormack for Smyth (65 mins), Liam Connerton for Brady, Peter Foy for D McGivney (both 70 mins), Barry Gilleran for Mimnagh (stoppage time)

Meath

1. Andrew Colgan (Donaghmore/Ashbourne)

2. Seamus Lavin (St. Peter’s Dunboyne)
3. Conor McGill (Rathoath)
4. Sean Curran (Donaghmore/Ashbourne)

5. James McEntee (Curraha)
6. Donal Keogan (Rathkenny)
7. Shane McEntee (St. Peter’s Dunboyne)

8. Bryan Menton (Donaghmre/Ashbourne)
9. Paddy Kennelly (Dunderry)

10. Cillian O’Sullivan (Moynalvey)
11. Ben Brennan (St. Colmcille’s)
12. Mickey Burke (Longwood)

13. Bryan McMahon (Rathoath)
14. Graham Reilly (St. Colmcille’s)
15. Donal Lenihan (St. Peter’s Dunboyne)

Subs: Daniel O’Neill for Kennelly (45 mins), Joey Wallace for Ben Brennan (53 mins), Eamonn Wallace for O’Sullivan (57 mins), Thomas O’Reilly for McMahon (66 mins)

Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)

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