Longford booked their place in the O’Byrne Cup semi-final for the fourth year in a row with six points to spare over Carlow in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.
Following their win over Kildare in their opening game, Padraic Davis’ side followed up with victory against a strong Carlow side, who never looked like troubling Longford.
Gerard Flynn, Darren Gallagher, Colm P. Smyth, Rian Brady, and Oran Kenny were excellent throughout for a Longford side who were full value for the win.
Carlow opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Paul Broderick pointed but Longford responded immediately with a fine point from Gallagher.
They took hold of the game after that and were ahead by five in the 19th minute. However, Darragh Foley (free) and Daniel St. Ledger (‘45) cut the gap to three in the 25th minute.
Dessie Reynolds and Gerard Flynn extended Longford’s lead to five on the half hour mark while Joseph Hagan was unlucky to see his powerful shot come off the crossbar as Longford led by four at the break: 0-8 to 0-4.
Sean Murphy hit over a fine point for Carlow in the 38th minute but once again Longford hit back with an excellent point from Kenny and a Gallagher free.
The lead was extended to nine points in the 57th minute when Reynolds found the net after a great run by Kenny who linked up with Smyth and he palmed the ball to Reynolds.
Carlow replied with three points in a row as Longford began to empty their bench. Substitute Darragh Doherty got Longford’s final point of the game while Broderick pointed over a late free.
Scorers for Longford: D Reynolds 1-01, D Gallagher 0-04 (2fs), R Brady 0-03 (1m), O Kenny 0-02, G Flynn, J Hagan (m), D Doherty 0-01 each.
Carlow scorers: B Broderick 0-04 (3fs), D St. Ledger 0-02 (1’45), S Reilly, S Murphy, D Foley (f), A Kehoe 0-01 each
LONGFORD: P Farrell; P Fox (S Farrell 64), A Farrell, PJ Masterson (M Cahill 66); I O’Sullivan (L Hughes 29), B O’Farrell, G Flynn (G Rogers 53); D Gallagher (D Duggan 64), K Diffley; P Lynn (D Doherty 52), CP Smyth, D Reynolds (E McCormack); R Brady, J Hagan (T McGann 66), O Kenny (A McGuire 59).
CARLOW: R Sansom; D Moran (M Bambrick 53), S Redmond, L Roberts; S Reilly, R Walker, N Roche (J Moore ht); S Murphy, J Murphy; P Broderick, D Foley, C Doyle (J McGrath 55); A Kehoe (D Walshe 44), C Crowley (A Kelly 70+1), D St. Ledger.
Referee: C Reilly (Dublin)