All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers Round 1 – Longford 2-14 Limerick 0-8

Longford defeated Limerick by 2-14 to 0-8 in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers Round 1 on Saturday in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park Longford.

Longford faith finds its reward

Longford 2-14 Limerick 0-09

By Brendan O’Brien for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Glenn Ryan has lauded his Longford players for refusing to follow the exodus to America and sticking with a team that, until this All-Ireland qualifier victory, had failed to win a competitive game all year. And the former Kildare star, whose five-year spell in charge may well have ended with defeat against Limerick two days ago, has also criticised players from other counties who have departed for the USA after provincial defeats. “It’s hugely important for the team,” he said. “There’s no disguising that fact. It has to be some sort of record to have gone as long as we have gone after playing what we have played without winning a game. “I wouldn’t put these lads up on a pedestal, but none of these fellas have f*****d off [unlike some players from] the Laoises, the Galways and Armaghs, teams that have greater, loftier ambitions and greater traditions than we have. These fellas stuck around.”

Prior to this, Longford had lost all seven of their Division 2 league games, as well as their opening championship engagement, to Wicklow. Their one success in six painful months had been a three-point defeat of UCD in January’s O’Byrne Cup. “It wasn’t easy but they stuck around,” said Ryan. “They didn’t go away. They didn’t go off to America looking for the sugar daddy or whatever is over there and if we hadn’t won it would have been a travesty for those fellas. “I’m not saying they were in any way perfect over the last few weeks but the fact that they were here and that they showed that respect to their team-mates and their clubs and their county, to not just drop everything at the drop of a hat and stay around, that is huge. That shouldn’t be underestimated. They should get the recognition they deserve for that because there is no fella should just drop everything and go at the first sign of things not going well and things weren’t going well for us for a long time.”

Limerick are among those counties to have waved goodbye to a handful of players as they migrated Stateside in recent months but, in every other way, their plight of late only equalled that of their hosts. Like Longford, they had suffered loss in their opening summer appointment and that heavy defeat to Cork, allied to the injury suffered by key forward Ian Ryan, had undone much of the good work done in securing promotion from Division 4. Yet Longford had their troubles with the loss through injury of key defender Michael Quinn as well as marksman-in-chief Brian Kavanagh who, ironically, is in the USA, albeit on a year-long sabbatical from work.

Few counties of Longford’s stature could survive such blows but, in full-forward Sean McCormack, they had the most potent player on the pitch and his eight points, three from play, were crucial. Longford led by 0-8 to 0-4 at the interval and put the result beyond doubt in a blistering opening to the second period when Francis McGee buttressed points from McCormack and Paul Barden with their first goal. Another three-pointer, from JJ Matthews after 47 minutes, re-emphasised the gulf and Limerick’s disastrous trip deteriorated further with the dismissals of Michael Reidy and John Riordan.

Ryan admitted to being surprised by the visitors’ torpor. “They are a seasoned team and we were four points up against them here last year and they got an equaliser with the last kick in normal time and beat us well in extra-time, so they have been through the mill. “You don’t often get second chances but we had a second chance and at least we are in the next round now.”

Scorers for Longford: S McCormack (0-8, five frees); JJ Matthews (1-2); F McGee (1-0); N Mulligan (0-2); J Keegan; P Barden (0-1 each).

Scorers for Limerick: S Buckley; E O’Connor (two frees) (0-3 each): I Corbett; G Collins; D O’Connor (0-1 each).

LONGFORD: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; B O’Farrell, P McCormack, S Mulligan; J Keegan, M Brady; B McElvaney, P Barden, P Foy; JJ Matthews, S McCormack, F McGee.

Subs for Longford: N Mulligan for Foy (49); CP Smyth for Barden (62); K Diffley for Keegan (65); a Rowan for McElvaney; S Doyle for McGee (both 66).

LIMERICK: B Scanlan; M O’Riordan, J McCarthy, A Lane; J Riordan, P Browne, P Ranahan; B O’Brien, J Galvin; S Lavin, T Lee, I Corbett; E O’Connor, S Buckley, G Collins.

Subs for Limerick: D O’Connor for Lee (h-t); S Lucey for O’Brien (43); M Ready for Corbett (46); S O’Carroll for Collins (49); C Coady for Lane (66).

Referee: D Gough (Meath)


Longford 2-14 Limerick 0-09

Report from the web site

Longford proved too powerful for Limerick as Glen Ryan’s side helped themselves to a 2-14 to 0-09 win in All-Ireland Football qualifiers at Pearse Park. Two goals early in the second-half from Francis McGee and JJ Mathews buried Limerick as Longford picked up their first win of the season with a slick performance. Limerick had Michael Reidy and John Riordan sent off in the closing stages, but at that stage it mattered little as Sean McCormack lodged a stellar showing for the midlanders.

Manager Glen Ryan will be thrilled to see his side get their campaign finally up and running, and with such a dangerous forward line to call on, they will pose a serious test to anyone in the next round. His starting full-forward line hit a combined 2-10, while substitute Niall Mulligan hit two late scores to add further weight to their reputation as a dangerous attack. At half-time Longford deservedly held a 0-08 to 0-04 advantage, but they came out after the restart and blitzed Maurice Horan’s side with 1-02 in the first three minutes.

McCormack pointed and Paul Barden also dissected the posts for the hosts, before McGee slotted past Brian Scanlan for a terrific goal in the 37th minute. At that stage the Limerick challenge was wilting and it died totally when Matthews made the most of a defensive slip and rattled the net in the 47th minute. Limerick had done well to stay as close to Longford as they did in the opening half as Eoghan O’Connor his two points from play to keep their challenge alive against dominant opponents.

But at the other end there was no answer to McCormack’s class and he hit five points before the break, many of which were carved out by marauding wing-back Shane Mulligan. The goals put the result beyond doubt, but when Reidy was shown a straight red card in the 60th minute their challenge died. Riordan joined him on the line as the full time whistle approached, but it mattered little as Longford dominated throughout. And after searching for that first win of the campaign for so long who knows what Longford can produce for the remainder of the summer.

Longford: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; B O’Farrell, P McCormack, S Mulligan; J Keegan, M Brady; B McElvaney, P Barden (0-01), P Foy; F McGee (1-00), S McCormack (0-08, 0-05f), JJ Matthews (1-02).

Subs: N Mulligan (0-02) for Foy (49 mins), C Smyth for Barden (64 mins), K Diffney for Keegan (65 mins), A Rowan for McGee (66 mins), S Doyle for McElaveney (66 mins).

Limerick: B Scanlan; M O’Riordan, J McCarthy, A Lane; J Riordan, P Browne, P Ranahan; B O’Brien, J Galvin; S Lavin, T Lee, I Corbett (0-01); E O’Connor (0-03, 0-01f), S Buckley (0-03, 0-01f), G Collins (0-01).

Subs: D O’Connor (0-01, 0-01f) for Lee (h-t), S Lucey for O’Brien (42 mins), M Reidy for Corbett (46 mins), S O’Carroll for Collins (48 mins).

Referee: D Gough (Meath)


Longford 2-14 Limerick 0-8

Report from

Longford ended a miserable run of eight successive competitive defeats this year when they beat Limerick quite comfortably at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday evening. It was a measure of revenge for Glenn Ryan’s side, who lost to Limerick after extra-time in Round 2 of the competition last year.

Limerick were well in the game at the break when they trailed by just 0-8 to 0-4, but Longford won the game inside three minutes of the restart. Seán McCormack and Paul Barden scored excellent points and then Francis McGee netted the first goal of the game to put the hosts 1-10 to 0-4 ahead.

Seánie Buckley battled well for Limerick after moving out to midfield and scored two good points, but Maurice Horan’s side were undone when Longford hit a second goal after 47 minutes. A poor back pass to goalkeeper Brian Scanlon was intercepted by JJ Matthews, who buried the ball with little fuss.

Things got worse for Limerick when sub Michael Reidy was sent off on a straight red card after an altercation with Declan Reilly. The visitors were then reduced to 13 men when John Riordan also got his marching orders for a second yellow card. Longford go into the draw for Round 2 of the Qualifiers on Monday morning.

Fixture Details

29.06.2013 (Sat)

GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Round 1

Glennon Brothers Pearse Park 19:00

An Longfort v Luimneach

Referee: David Gough (An Mhí)

(E.T. if Necessary)

They meet for the second successive year, having clashed in the qualifiers last season when Limerick won by 1-21 to 1-15 in extra time in Longford. Longford beat Derry by 0-17 to 2-8 in the first round. Limerick lost to Kildare by a point in extra-time in Round 3.

2013 Championship to date

Wicklow 1-15 Longford 0-16

Cork 3-17 Limerick 0-8

Match Preview

Limerick and Longford meet for the second year in a row in the Qualifiers, although last year’s encounter at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park came in Round 2. Prior to that game, which Limerick won by 1-21 to 1-15 after extra-time, the sides had no history at all in the championship.

Both sides come into the game on the back of disappointing provincial championship defeats so for one team at least, the season will end on a particularly disappointing note. In a cracking contest last year, Seán McCormack looked to have sent Glenn Ryan’s side into Round 3 with an injury time point, but youngster Derry O’Connor popped up with a crucial equaliser for the Treaty Men at the death.

Limerick moved three points clear at half-time in extra-time before McCormack landed his eighth score of the afternoon to cut the gap to two. It all started to unravel for the hosts when Declan Reilly and David Barden were sent off. Limerick made the most of the extra room to power ahead, O’Connor hammering the final nail in their coffin with a late goal.

Longford boss Ryan was left contemplating his future after the game and must have regretted the chances his side missed in normal time. With seven minutes to go, his charges were three points clear and had an opportunity to kill off the game, but Limerick goalkeeper Brian Scanlon made a brilliant save from Francis McGee.

Limerick manager Maurice Horan has made one change from the side that lost heavily to Cork, with Scanlon taking over the No. 1 jersey from Donal O’Sullivan. Ian Ryan remains out through injury.

Longford’s 1-15 to 0-16 defeat to Wicklow in Leinster means they have now lost eight successive games this year. Both sides have very similar records in the Qualifiers so it’s one of the hardest games of the entire weekend to call.

Team News

Limerick: Brian Scanlon, Andy Lane, Johnny McCarthy, Mark O’Riordan, Stephen Lavin, Paudie Browne , Pa Ranahan , Bobby O’Brien, John Galvin, John O’Riordan, Thomas Lee, Ian Corbett, Ger Collins, Seanie Buckley (capt), Eoghan O’Connor