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Longford book date against the Dubs with the first great comeback of championship 2015

Longford trailed by seven in Tullamore but still found a way to win.

Longford's Ronan McEntire embraces Colm P Smyth in celebration.
Longford's Ronan McEntire embraces Colm P Smyth in celebration.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Longford 0-16

Offaly 0-13

LONGFORD WILL PLAY reigning champions Dublin in the Leinster SFC quarter-finals after a brilliant second-half comeback to beat Offaly.

Michael Quinn missed a first-half penalty as Longford fell seven points behind in front of 4,959 in O’Connor Park.

But with the wind at their back, they reeled off 11 of the last 12 scores to stun the home crowd.

Offaly ran out 13-point winners when these sides met in the Division 4 league final last month but the visitors turned that form on its head in Tullamore.

Their reward is a trip to Croke Park on 31 May where they will be massive underdogs against a Dublin team seeking a 10th provincial title in 11 years.

It was Longford who started the strongest and they led by 0-5 to 0-4 after 26 minutes.

But some resolute defending from Offaly held them scoreless for 20 minutes from that point, including a save by goalkeeper Alan Mulhall to deny Quinn from the spot.

Offaly led by 0-9 to 0-5 at the break, and when they built on that advantage after the restart to lead 0-12 to 0-5, they looked to have one foot in the next round.

But it was Longford who dominated the final 25 minutes with Brian Kavanagh leading the way with three second-half points from full-forward.

A point from Colm P Smyth drew them level at 0-13 apiece with five minutes to play before Dessie Reynolds, Kavanagh and Ross McNerney clinched the win.

Longford

1. Paddy Collum (Fr. Manning Gaels)

2. Dermot Brady (Longford Slashers)
3. Barry O’Farrell (Carrickedmond)
19. Cian Farrelly (Emmet Óg)

5. Colm P. Smyth (Abbeylara)
6. Diarmuid Masterson (Dromard)
21. Barry McKeon (Colmcille)

8. Barry Gilleran (Longford Slashers)
9. Kevin Diffley (Ballymahon)

10. Ronan McEntire (Dromard)
11. Michael Quinn (Killoe Young Emmets)
12. Shane Doyle (Kenagh)

24. Rory Connor (Kenagh)
14. Brian Kavanagh (Kilmacud Crokes)
15. Francis McGee (Dromard)

Offaly (named)

1. Alan Mulhall (Walsh Island)

2. Brian Darby (Rhode)
3. Paul McConway (Tullamore)
4. Daithí Brady (Ballyfore)

5. Niall Darby (Rhode)
6. Johnny Moloney (Tullamore)
7. Joseph O’Connor (St Rynagh’s)

8. Graham Guilfoyle (Clara)
9. Niall Smith (Gracefield)

10. Eoin Carroll (Cappincur)
11. Niall McNamee (Rhode)
12. Anton Sullivan (Rhode)

13. Bernard Allen (Tubber)
14. Nigel Dunne (Shamrocks)
15. William Mulhall (Walsh Island)

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