McCormack's late leveller saves day for Emmet Og
Longford Slashers and Emmet Og will have to battle it out again next weekend after they finished all square at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.
Slashers were en route to securing three-in-a-row glory, however credit to Emmet Og who dug deep in the closing phases and a simple converted free from Sean McCormack earned them a draw.
The Longford Town-based club may feel aggrieved with the way things unfolded in stoppage-time. Slashers' Stephen Phillips had gathered possession well within shooting range, but before he had time to pull the trigger, referee Derek Fahy called time.
Emmet Og had greater hunger in the opening half but failed to take their chances, while Slashers had a better return in front of the posts. All of their full-forwards got off the mark in the first-half exchanges, while their full-backs marshalled their lines superbly -- Barry Gilleran and Garrett Ghee cleaning up a lot of breaking ball -- and they went in 0-5 to 0-4 up at the break.
On the resumption, Sean McCormack fired over two points that gave Emmet Og the lead for the first time -- and midfielder Paddy Thompson started to dominate in the second period. But with seven minutes remaining Slashers got back in front as Stephen Phillips worked hard to register two points from play.
Entering the closing minutes, Slashers appeared to be on course to retain their county title, but McCormack stepped up to force the replay.
Scorers -- Longford Slashers: C Smith (1f), S Phillips 0-2 each, M Smith, M Nevin, P Kelly 0-1 each. Emmet Og: S McCormack 0-6 (4f), R McGoldrick 0-1.
Longford Slashers -- C Farrell; P Brady, B Gilleran, G Ghee; C Clarke, D Brady, P Kelly; M Brady, D Sheridan; N Mulligan, C Smith, T Clendenning; M Nevin, S Phillips, M Smith. Subs: Ruairi Barrins for Clendenning (47), Martin Tarney for M Smith (50), Brian Farrell for M Nevin (60).
Emmet Og -- C Burns; D Bennett, P McCormack, D Keogh; S Dowd, J McCormack, M Quinn; P Thompson, S Kiernan; D McGoldrick, R McGoldrick, D Mimnagh; E Clarke, M Hughes, S McCormack. Subs: Ronan Keogh for S Dowd (38), John Kiernan for R McGoldrick (55), Paddy Hughes for D Mimnagh (62).
Ref --D Fahy (Ballymahon).