Dublin shocked by Longford in u21 Football championship

November 8, 2018

U21 footballers exit championship as Longford prevail

06 Mar 2013 |


Longford toppled Dublin in Wednesday night’s Cadbury Leinster U21FC quarter-final at Parnell Park.

A brilliantly taken Robbie Smyth goal in the 53rd minute was the crucial score as their gameplan worked a treat to frustrate Dublin on a night that was not made for attractive football.

The midlanders defended defiantly in big numbers and hit the Dubs on the counter-attack to telling effect with Smyth’s goal after a perfectly measured diagonal ball from the impressive Rory O’Connnor wrong footed the Dublin defence and he finished clincially past Lorcan Molloy.

The Dubs were never really allowed play with any great fluency and the ‘Donegal-esque’ styled packed Longford defence forced Dublin into a real dogfight from which the midlanders emerged victorious.

The early signs were not good from a Dublin perspective. In the opening half it took Dublin 20 minutes to register a score when Ciarán Kilkenny drove a shot to the net following approach play by Paul Mannion to bolt in front 1-0 to 0-2.

A long-range Emmet O Conghaile point was the only other score of the first half and at the interval Dublin led by 1-1 to 0-2.

Within a minute of the restart it was down to the minimum when ref Garret Whelan spottted a foul off the ball and awarded Longford a free 25 metres from goal which match-winner Smyth converted.

But the second half, not much different than the opening 30 minutes, was punctuated by regular stoppages as neither team held the upperhand for any period of time.

Inside the concluding ten minutes Dublin were two points clear, 1-3 to 0-5, but still no nearer breaking Longford’s resistance and Smyth’s goal was the game game-breaker.

Crucially Longford got the next score when wing-back Diarmuid Cooney fired over on the run from 35 metres to make it 1-6 to 1-3 as he and centre-back Padraig McCormack were the main platform for their counter-attack game.

Second half sub Gavin Ivory kicked two excellent points from Dublin in the last five minutes and Dublin had one late, late chance to force the game to extra-time but Kilkenny’s free, a difficult shot from wide on the left and under the pressure of the clock, was wide of the mark.

Longford had been reduced to 14 men in the 58th minute when McCormack was sent off following a second yellow card offence but it was still to be a famous night for Longford whose joyous supporters possibly outnumbered Dublin’s in a small crowd.

SCORERS – Longford: R Smyth 1-3 (0-1f), D Cooney, R O’Connor, M Hughes (0-1f) 0-1 each. Dublin: C Kilkenny 1-1 (0-1f), G Ivory 0-2, E O Conghaile, S Carthy (0-1 ‘45’) 0-1 each.
LONGFORD: P Columb; D Barrett, B O’Farrell, R Keogh; D Farrelly, P McCormack, D Cooney; P Thompson, D Gallagher; R O’Connor, B McKeon, D Mimnagh; R Smyth, M Hughes, J McGivney. Subs: C Lynn for O’Connor (51), A Dalton for McGivney (53), D Quinn for Thompson (61).
DUBLIN: L Molloy; R McGowan, David Byrne, N McGovern; E Lowndes, C Mulally, J McCaffrey; S Cunningham, E Ó Conghaile; P Maguire, S Carthy, Danny Byrne; P Mannion, A Caffrey, C Kilkenny. Subs: N Scully for Danny Byrne (23), C McHugh for Caffrey (38), G Ivory for Maguire (41), P Ryan for Mannion (45).
REF: G Whelan (Wicklow).