Thursday 21 September 2017

Smith's late show key for Longford

LONGFORD 0-17
MEATH 2-9
(After extra-time)
Leinster U-21 FC

For the second successive outing, Meath were forced to extra-time, but on this occasion they came out at the wrong end of affairs as battling Longford marched on at Pairc Tailteann last night.

After dethroning All-Ireland champions Dublin in the opening round, Meath were expected to advance, but could never match Longford's greater hunger and work ethic.

However, it needed a late point from Longford substitute Robbie Smith to equalise at 0-11 to 1-8 and send the game into extra-time.

Padraig Davis' side went three points clear in extra-time, before a penalty from Andrew Tormey again levelled proceedings.

However, Longford regained the advantage and this time Meath had no response.

It was Longford's first outing of the campaign, and with the advantage of the strong breeze in the opening half, they dominated and deservedly led by 0-8 to 1-0 at the break.

Meath were somewhat fortunate to score in the opening half -- a point effort from Mark Battersby deceived Longford 'keeper Patrick Columb and ended up in the net.

The hosts worked themselves back into contention and eventually drew level following a pointed free from Tormey on 54 minutes.

Tormey then put Meath ahead, but they were unable to hold on as Smith levelled the game to send it to additional time.

Both sides finished with 14 players following the dismissal of Ciaran Lenehan and Fergal Reilly near the end of the game.

SCORERS -- Longford: P Gill, JJ Matthews, R Smith (2f) 0-4 each, J Keegan 0-3, M Mulvey, J McGivney (f) 0-1 each. Meath: A Tormey 1-4 (1-0p, 4f), M Battersby 1-0, S Dalton, P Gilsenan, D Smyth, M O'Sullivan, C Lenehan 0-1 each.

LONGFORD -- P Columb;J Carroll, F Battrim, A Quinn; S Mahon, C P Smith, D Cooney; K Diffley, J Keegan; P McCormack, P Gill, P Reynolds; J McGivney, D Gallagher, JJ Matthews. Subs: R Smith for Reynolds (16), Marty Mulvey for Gallagher (27), F Reilly for Mahon (51), P Devine for Carroll (56), Gallagher for Keegan (e-t) C Keegan for Matthews (e-t).

MEATH -- C McHugh; C McPartland, S Curran, W Ryan; D Keogan, C Lenehan, M O'Sullivan; J Owens, B Menton; P Gilsenan, D Smyth, D Larkin; A Tormey, N Murphy, M Battersby. Subs: S Dalton for Larkin (40), S Gillespie for Owens (44), W Carry for Murphy (52), C Deveraux for Battersby (56), S Tobin for Smyth (e-t).

REF -- P Kneel (Louth).

Irish Independent

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