Longford Juniors lose out in Leinster Final

Longford: 1-07, Cavan: 1-11

A dominant spell midway through the second half helped Cavan claim their second Leinster Junior title in three years at the expense of neighbours Longford.

When Longford levelled the game for only the second time in the 42nd minute momentum was with them and it looked like they could kick on from there but a number of poor wides proved to be their downfall. The Breffni men had raced into an early lead with two pointed frees from Enda Reilly and a good point from wing-back Philip Tinnelly. Longford struggled to gain possession and registered their opening point through a pointed free from Rory Connor. Cavan continued to dominate and extended their lead to five points in the 25th minute. Longford slowly began to get into the game and three excellent points in a row cut the gap to two points going in at the break.

The sides were level in the 32nd minute with two pointed frees. Longford then squandered chances to take the lead for the first time. They were to rue those missed opportunities as Cavan began to become a threat again up front.

Substitute Tom Hayes edged Cavan ahead in the 46th minute and it was a lead they didn’t relinquish. Reilly’s sixth point of the game put three between them in the 52nd minute before wing-back Paul Smith put the game beyond Longford with a goal in the 53rd minute.

Longford pulled a goal back in the final minute with an excellent finish from Andrew Dalton but at that stage it was too little, too late.

Cavan: James Farrelly; Damien Barkey, Jamie Morris, Fergal Reilly; Philip Tinnelly (0-1), Barry Doyle, Paul Smith (1-0); Liam Buchanan (0-1), Packie Leddy; Enda Reilly (0-6,4f,1’45), Chris Conroy, David Wright; Paul O’Connor (0-2,1f), Conor P. Moynagh, Thomas Moore.

Subs: Tom Hayes (0-1) for Moore (40), Brian Sankey for Leddy (47), Ciaran Brady for Morris (50), Hession for Smith (53), Niall Clerkin for Conroy (57), Gerard Smith for Tinnelly (59)

Longford: Paddy Collum; Andrew Farrell, Peter Brady, Gerard Smith; James McGivney, Fergal Reilly, Diarmuid Cooney (0-1); Darren Gallagher, Ronan McEntire (0-2,1f); Barry McKeon (0-1), Paul McKeon, Andrew Dalton (1-0); Brian Farrell (0-1,1f), Pauric Gill, Rory Connor (0-2,2f).

Subs: Daniel Mimnagh for Connor (50), Darren Farrelly for Cooney (53), Simon Kiernan for Gallagher (54), Karl Murray for Smith (60), Mattie Gorman for A Farrell (61)

Referee: Niall Ward (Westmeath)