GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Round 2 – Limerick 1-21 Longford 1-15

Limerick need extra time to dispatch Longford

Report from the web site

Longford 1-15 Limerick 1-21 (after extra time)

A greater scoring spread allied with a strong bench and incalculable courage enabled Limerick to emerge from Longford’s Pearse Park fortress with a memorable round 2 qualifier victory this afternoon. In what was a titanic tussle, one could pinpoint one clear moment when this tie turned. Despite struggling for large periods of the game, Longford had gotten themselves two points up when Francis McGee shot first time off the turf but only found the legs of Limerick goalkeeper Brian Scanlon.

Johnny McCarthy made a rare foray forward to point at the other end from the next attack and Limerick sensed a chance. Points from Ian Ryan and Mike Sheehan brought the sides level, but there was plenty of drama in the four minutes of injury time, as McCormack restored Limerick’s advantage, only for youngster Derry O’Connor to bring us to extra time. Limerick were the team with the belief in that added 20 minutes and were three points ahead at the end of the first period.

Two Seanie McCormack frees reduced the margin to two but Longford had Declan Reilly and David Barden sent off and Limerick made hay from the resultant space, and Derry O’Connor’s goal from the last act of the game secured a brilliant win. Longford dominated early on but a two-point advantage after 15 minutes was scant reflection of that. Limerick clearly took comfort from their opponents’ attacking frailties, taking charge in the second quarter and notching up the five consecutive points.

The long-serving duo of Stephen Kelly and Stephen Lucey led the way, and when Eoghan O’Connor showed good pace and strength to point in the 34th minute, the Shannonsiders were leading by three. Out of nowhere though, Longford struck for a goal. McGee found Niall Mulligan with a sumptuous outside-of-the-boot pass and though Scanlon made a splendid save, the Longford Slashers man made sure at the second attempt. With McGee and McCormack adding points from play, Longford somehow led at half time 1-5 to 0-7.

Limerick continued to assert as they had done in the latter half of the opening period in terms of possession, but this time it was their turn to find the wind no guarantee of scores. What’s more, Longford saw their conversion rate increase exponentially, and with the excellent Francis McGee, McCormack, David Barden and Paul Barden raising white flags, were a goal clear when Scanlon made that brilliant stop that kickstarted a famous Limerick comeback.


Limerick: D O’Connor 1-2; I Ryan (3fs) 0-4; E O’Connor, I Corbett 0-3; S Buckley 0-2; S Kelly, S Lucey, J McCarthy, M Sheehan, CP Smyth(op), B Scanlon(45), S O’Carroll 0-1 each

Longford: S McCormack 0-8(4fs); F McGee 0-4; N Mulligan 1-0; P Barden 0-2; D Barden 0-1

LIMERICK: B Scanlon; A Lane, J McCarthy, L O’Dwyer; J Riordan, S Lucey, P Ranahan; J Donovan, S Buckley; J O’Meara, S Kelly, P Browne; E O’Connor, I Ryan, S O’Carroll. Subs: M Sheehan for Lane (40); I Corbett for O’Dwyer (54); D Quaid for Lucey (65); B O’Brien for Donovan (66); D O’Connor for Kelly (69); E Barry for O’Meara (76)

LONGFORD: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; CP Smyth, M Quinn, S Mulligan; B McElvaney, J Keegan; D McElligott, P Barden, N Mulligan; F McGee, B Kavanagh, S McCormack. Subs: D Barden for Keegan (ht); P McCormack for McElligott (ht); P Foy for McElvaney (59); N Farrell for Smyth (70); JJ Matthews for Kavanagh (79); McElvaney for N Mulligan (84)

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)


Limerick knock Longford out

Match Report from the web site

GAA Football All-Ireland Qualifiers Round 2: Longford 1-15 Limerick 1-21

Limerick produced a brilliant performance in extra-time to defeat Longford in Round 2 of the Qualifiers at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday. Longford led by three points going into the final ten minutes of normal time, but just as they failed to do against Wexford in the Leinster Championship, they were unable to close out the win and a point in the fourth minute of stoppage time from Limerick’s Derry O’Connor ensured the extra 20 minutes. Longford didn’t recover from this hammer blow, unsurprising given that Seán McCormack’s point in the third minute of extra-time had seemingly all but sealed their passage, and they struggled badly in extra-time. Once Limerick had rescued the draw, they capitalised extremely well, and they dominated the extra period, winning by six points in the end, capping it all off with a late goal from the hero O’Connor.

The pain of Longford’s exit was compounded by two dismissals late on, Declan Reilly and David Barden seeing red in the closing stages. Longford had led at the end of the first 35 minutes following a late burst shortly before the whistle. A goal from Niall Mulligan on 34 minutes, and points from Francis McGee and McCormack turned the game around as Limerick had been leading 0-6 to 0-3 going into the final stages of the opening period.

Longford led 0-3 to 0-1 after 16 minutes, Paul Barden and McCormack hitting early scores for them, but Limerick took over midway through the half, and went on a run of five unanswered points. Stephen Kelly steaded things for them with a good score to put one between them, before efforts from Stephen Lucey and Ian Ryan put Limerick ahead for the first time. A three-point lead was established when goalkeeper Brian Scanlon (45) and Eoghan O’Connor got on the scoresheet, but in truth, Longford had helped Limerick take control by hitting a tally of eight wides in the first half.

They made up for that profligacy with the late rally at the end of the half, but O’Connor equalised for Limerick shortly after the restart. Longford were in front again by the 47th minute, leading by two with McGee one of their main scoring threats. Limerick never let them get too far away from them though, although Longford were able to maintain a slight advantage for most of the second half, which they extended to three points with an effort from Paul Barden in the 61st minute. Limerick managed to get level with about two minutes of injury time left, but then McCormack’s point looked to have settled it for once and for all. O’Connor thought otherwise though, and he went on to grab further headlines when his goal at the very end of extra-time completed a memorable win for the Treaty County.


Graft and craft get Limerick through


Limerick 1-21 Longford 1-15 (AET)

By Cian O Connell for the Irish Examiner web site

This was a gripping game that ebbed and flowed throughout and eventually ended in a merited Limerick success. But Longford departed the championship with arguably the worst sporting feeling of the lot: reflecting on what might have been. For Limerick, this win was achieved with a potent mixture of graft and craft. The work ethic was admirable from early on as Longford were never allowed attain their usual running fluency.

Maurice Horan had planned sensibly, with Paudie Browne giving the defence a dig out to keep his side solid throughout. In extra-time Limerick had the legs and the skill to scorch clear. None of that made it easy to take for Glenn Ryan. “I would say it’s our worst 90 minutes of football. “We finished the game the way we started. We began very flat and unfortunately we finished very flat. “Throughout the afternoon we felt we never got to the same level as we did in previous performances. “I don’t want to make excuses, but we have encountered a lot of tough physical games this year and with a small bunch of players it was always going to be hard to repeat the success week in week out. We played 14 competitive games this year so maybe that was a factor too.”

Nobody could argue with Ryan’s assessment because Longford were never fluid, even though a Niall Mulligan goal helped them go in 1-5 to 0-7 ahead at the interval. Limerick had offered glimpses of their potential, but with six minutes of normal time remaining still trailed by three. Points from the effective Johnny McCarthy, Ian Ryan and substitute Mike Sheehan had them level before Seanie McCormack, outstanding for Longford, nudged the locals ahead again. The speedy Derry O’Connor forced extra-time and Limerick seized the initiative.

With Limerick bright and busy, Longford had Declan Reilly and replacement David Barden dismissed on 85 and 89 minutes. Limerick’s triumph was confirmed when O’Connor blasted an insurance goal and Horan, who took the maximum out of his resources, was delighted to register a victory. “Longford are a very good team,” he said. “They have one of the best records in the country this year. People might not know that, but they have only lost one competitive game. I think Cork have lost more. “Losing the Munster semi-final to Clare was a disaster for us. We had five weeks to lick our wounds. The boys are so proud that we turned it around. We couldn’t let that loss against Clare define our year.”

Over the past five weeks Limerick took crumbs of comfort ahead of this trip to Longford to help cleanse the Clare loss from the system. “We kept trying to come around the fact that we lost that game to Clare, it was a gradual process. Small things counted for us. When we had a good training session that helped our focus and we started putting the blocks back together one by one,” was what a thrilled Horan reckoned.

For Longford, Ryan will take time to deliberate whether or not he will remain on as manager. “No it is too soon to make any decisions. It is a hard defeat to take because I still think we are capable of going further in the championship. “Unfortunately, we didn’t seem to have any spark in our legs at all. Even during the week the management team were conscious of that fact. In training we tried to keep the lads fresh but for some reason our energy levels dipped during the contest against Limerick.” For the winners, Stephen Lucey was happy they pinched a victory rather than suffering another harrowing reversal. “At half-time we came in and were a point down and some of us were nearly patting one another on the back. Stephen Kelly said that he would rather be taken off after five minutes and win, but we battled back. Longford did well and fair play to them, but the young lads that came in for us showed great composure.”

Scorers for Longford: S McCormack 0-8 (4fs), F McGee 0-4, N Mulligan 1-0, P Barden 0-2, D Barden 0-1.

Scorers for Limerick: I Ryan 0-5 (3fs), D O’Connor 1-2, I Corbett, E O’Connor 0-3 each, S Buckley 0-2, S Kelly, S Lucey, J McCarthy, M Sheehan, S O’Carroll, B Scanlon (45) 0-1 each.

Subs for Longford: D Barden for Keegan (36), P McCormack for McElligott (36), P Foy for McElvaney (60), N Farrell for Smyth (70), JJ Matthews for Kavanagh (78), B McElvaney for N Mulligan (86).

Subs for Limerick: M Sheehan for Lane (36), I Corbett for O’Dwyer (54s), D Quaid for Lucey (65), B O’Brien for Donovan (66), D O’Connor for Kelly (68), E Barry for O’Meara (74).

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)

Match Preview

A first championship clash between the counties. They last met in the Allianz League in February 2010 when Limerick won a Division 4 game by 1-8 to 0-9 in Pearse Park. Longford beat Derry by 0-17 to 2-8 in the qualifiers last Saturday while Limerick arrive in Round 2 as beaten Munster semi-finalists.

2012 Championship

Longford 2-9 Wexford 0-15 (draw); Wexford 1-13 Longford 0-15 (Leinster quarter-final);

Longford 0-17 Derry 2-8 (Qualifiers Round 1) Limerick 2-12 Waterford 0-7; Clare 1-13 Limerick 0-15 (Munster semi-final)

Team News

LIMERICK SF: 1. Brian Scanlon (Gerald Griffin’s); 2. Andrew Lane (St.Senan’s), 3. Johnny McCarthy (St.Kieran’s), 4. Lorcan O’Dwyer (Pallasgreen); 5. John Riordan (Fr. Casey’s), 6. Stephen Lucey (Croom), 7. Pa Ranahan (Ballysteen); 8. Jim Donovan (St Kieran’s), 9. Sean Buckley (Dromcollogher-Broadford); 10. Eoghan O’Connor (St. Mary’s/ Sean Finn’s), 11. Stephen Kelly (Newcastlewest), 12. Paudie Browne (Fr. Casey’s); 13. Ger Collins (Monaleen) Capt, 14. Seamus O’Carroll (Cappagh Kilcornan), 15. Ian Ryan (St. Senan’s).