Hastings Cup: Longford lose out to Tipperary

Tipperary 1-11 Longford 1-08

Despite a strong second half performance Longford’s U21 footballers couldn’t overturn a nine point half-time deficit as they fell to their second defeat in the Hastings Cup.

Longford faced an uphill battle at the break but credit to them for making a real game of it in the second half and at one point cut Tipperary’s lead to just two points but that was as close as they could get to Tipperary.

Depending on the outcome of the re-fixed game between Tipperary and Galway Longford can still qualify for the Shield semi-final. The game’s opening score came from a pointed Josh Keane in the 6th minute. Longford had a chance minutes later but Liam Connerton’s effort came off the crossbar.

Tipp went three ahead in the 12th minute with points from Stephen O’Brien and Paul Shanahan. One minute O’Brien grabbed a goal to put six between the sides. Longford’s first point came from Ross McNerney but O’Brien restored his side’s six point advantage seconds later. Keane followed up with three points in a row to stretch Tipp’s lead to nine points in the 19th minute. A Paddy Kiernan point in the 25th minute was Longford’s second point of the game.

Tipp were back ahead by nine in the 28th minute and right before the break Larry Moran was unlucky after his effort came off the crossbar. Longford were a different proposition in the second half as they put in an excellent performance. Moran and McNerney got early points before Liam Connerton was brought down for a penalty and the young Rathcline dispatched the spot-kick past Tipp keeper Gearoid Slattery. Minutes later another Moran point cut the gap to just three points.

Despite having the possession Longford failed to add on further scores. Tipp were given the opportunity to get their first point of the second half in the 46th minute when they were awarded a free, Keane duly pointed it.

Fantastic points from substitute Nigel Rabbitte and McNerney brought Longford to within two again of Tipp with nine minutes of the game remaining. Chances fell Longford’s way but they failed to convert them. Tipp went three ahead before Longford were reduced to 14 men with Moran receiving a second yellow card. O’Brien and McNerney exchanged late points as Tipp held on for a three point win. Tipperary: G Slattery; M O’Connor, J Feehan, C O’Shaughnessy, J Lonergan, L Boland, P Richardson; S O’Brien (1-3,1f), L Casey; M Russell (0-1), I Fahey (0-1,1f), P Shanahan (0-1); T Sweeney, J Keane (0-5,2f), M Maher. Subs: G Cronin for Shanahan (ht), P Looram for Maher (48), TJ Ryan for Sweeney (52).

Longford: D Shannon; R Sweeney, A Farrell, M Mulligan; S Clarke, C Farrelly, C Shields; A Dalton, V Hourican; R McNerney ( 0-4), E Noonan, P Kiernan (0-1); L Moran (0-2), L Connerton (1-0), D Reynolds. Subs: F Sheridan for Hourican (24), S Fitzpatrick for Shannon (ht, G Kelly for Kiernan and N Rabbitt (0-1) for Reynolds (48), N Casserly for Shields (inj, 53), K Farrell for Noonan (55).

Referee: A Kissane (Waterford)