Longford stun Laois with second-half surge

Longford stun Laois with second-half surge

Longford 1-10 Laois 0-12

Longford produced an excellent second-half comeback, scoring seven points in succession to shock Laois in the Leinster championship at Pearse Park this afternoon.

Michael Quinn and Paul Barden were outstanding but Laois will rue a complete loss of composure that means they must now look to the Qualifiers.

Barden’s 40th minute goal was the spark for Glenn Ryan’s charges, who now play Wexford.

Laois were utterly dominant in the opening half, particularly in the middle third where Brendan Quigley, John O’Loughlin and Kevin Meaney were prominent.

After a cagey opening, they gradually exerted control on the scoreboard, with points from Colm Begley, Ross Munnelly, Darren Strong and debutant Gary Walsh before Barden got Longford off the mark in the 16th minute.

The centre-forward might have had a goal earlier, but his shot after a trademark run was just wide of the far post.

Sean McCormack landed a free but was starved of possession, while Brian Kavanagh – who was showing very well, also on the mark.

These scores were just about keeping Longford in touch though as Walsh added a brace of points, Strong sent over a wonderful score, and Conor Boyle and Kevin Meaney also raised white flags.

That gave Laois a 0-9 to 0-3 interval lead and it should have been more as they kicked eight wides.

Glenn Ryan made two half-time substitutions and his side came out with much more conviction.

Barden had a shot saved by Eoin Culliton soon after the restart but the Laois goalkeeper could do nothing to deny the Clonguish star from palming to the net, after Sean McCormack had provided a pinpoint pass in the 39th minute.

Laois responded well with pointed frees from Munnelly and Walsh, while Meaney almost scored a goal but was denied by Damien Sheridan.

From this juncture on, Longford gradually reeled their opponents in. David Barden started the run of seven points in the 48th minute and his brother followed up.

McCormack added a brace, including one from a brilliantly-judged kick-pass by Quinn. The centre-back levelled matters just short of the hour with a wonderful outside-of-the-boot point from 45m and after Francis McGee had a shot blocked, McCormack swooped to put Longford in front for the first time.

Quinn found Kavanagh, who worked hard throughout, and the full-forward lofted over from a narrow angle to put two between the sides.

Meaney did palm the ball into the Longford net in injury time but Michael Duffy adjudged the Laois captain to have been in the square, and with the delivery coming from a free kick, ruled the score out.

There was still time for Sheridan to save from Padraig Clancy and Colm Kelly to point a free but Longford held out for a famous victory.

Scorers – Longford: P Barden 1-2; S McCormack 0-4(2fs); B Kavanagh 0-2; D Barden, M Quinn 0-1 each

Laois: G Walsh 0-4(2fs); R Munnelly (1f), D Strong 0-2 each; C Boyle, K Meaney, C Begley, C Kelly(f) 0-1 each

Longford: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; CP Smith, M Quinn, S Mulligan; B McElvanney, J Keegan; D Barden, P Barden, N Mulligan; D McElligott, B Kavanagh, S McCormack. Subs: P Kelly for Keegan (ht); P McCormack for N Mulligan (ht); F McGee for McElligott (50); K Diffley for D Barden (68); N Farrell for McElvanney (70+2)

Laois: E Culliton; C Healy, K Lillis, P O’Leary; D Strong, S Julian, C Boyle; J O’Loughlin, B Quigley; K Meaney, B Sheehan, C Begley; R Munnelly, P Clancy, G Walsh

Referee: Michael Duffy (Sligo)

More in this Section

Cork postman Declan delivers on Everest endurance featCork postman Declan delivers on Everest endurance feat

Ciarán O'Lionaird hits comeback trail to 'repay debt' to himself and CorkCiarán O'Lionaird hits comeback trail to 'repay debt' to himself and Cork

IRFU boss admits Irish players may look to leave country after pandemicIRFU boss admits Irish players may look to leave country after pandemic

EFL announce two positive tests at the same Championship clubEFL announce two positive tests at the same Championship club


Lifestyle

Last week, I wrote about 'small is beautiful' as a key to an improved environment for all living things after this Covid crisis is finally over. As I wrote, I saw, in the mind's eye, the village where I live in west Cork and from which my wife and I are temporarily exiled.Damien Enright: Community spirit can ensure we pull through - together

Fifty years ago, a fox was spotted in Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green. The unfortunate animal was chased by local ‘gurriers’. It took refuge in a tree but was promptly stoned to death.Richard Collins: Wildlife taking back the streets of our cities

The north pier on Cape Clear has been eerily quiet these last few months as no visitors disembark. The ferry is not unloading boatloads of tourists from Baltimore, 45 minutes away, or from Schull, as it would normally.The Islands of Ireland: Cape Clear tells its side of the story

If the Donegal postman and amateur weather forecaster has it right, we could be in for water shortages in the coming months. Michael Gallagher, who predicted the scorching summer of 2018 and the 2010 freeze-up, says we’ll have a ‘lovely’ summer.Donal Hickey: Demand for water to soar

More From The Irish Examiner