Longford blow Wicklow away
Longford 1-9 Wicklow 1-5
Longford ultimately got their better of Wicklow at a sunny but bitterly cold Pearse Park yesterday.
With the game hanging in the balance at 1-3 apiece at the interval, the Midlanders took advantage of the blustering winds in the second half and excellent shooting from Donal McElligott, Darren Gallagher and Colm P Smyth put the game beyond doubt.
The visitors drew first blood in the 13th minute when Paddy Byrne netted.
Full-back Ross O'Brien played a long hopeful ball into the Longford full-back line and somehow Byrne managed to stick his fist to the ball that completely caught the debutant Longford keeper Colm Farrell by surprise as the ball sailed into the top left-hand corner.
Denis Connerton (below) was no doubt pleased to see his team regain the lead 13 minutes later when James McGivney scored a brilliant goal, after Francis McGee had tapped over a well-taken point.
After the break, Longford continued to set the pace, with McGee leading the charge, to secure a semi-final encounter against All-Ireland champions Dublin next weekend.
Scorers - Longford: J McGinvey 1-0, F McGee, D McElligott 0-2 each, D Masteron, D Gallagher, R Smyth, C P Smyth, P McKeon 0-1 each. Wicklow: P Byrne 1-2f, R Finn (f), C Murphy, C Fitzgerald (f) 0-1 each.
Longford - C Farrell: D Masterson, B Gilleran, CP Smyth; S Doyle, F Battrim, P Foy; M Brady, B Farrell; A Dalton, J McGivney, B Kavanagh; B McKeon, F McGee, D Brady. Subs: D McElligott for S Doyle (35), R Smyth for B McKeon (h/t), D Gallagher for B Farrell (h/t), P McGee for D Masterson (55), P McKeon for B Kavanagh (61)), C Shield for B Gilleran (62).
Wicklow - R Lambert; C Hyland, R O'Brien, K Murphy; D Healy, P McLoughlin, C Murphy; R Finn, A McLoughlin; D Hayden, S Kelly, M Kenny; P Byrne, C Davis, C Fitzgerald. Subs: J Crowe for D Healy (6), P Higgins for K Murphy (35), N Gaffney for C Fitzgerald (39), E Doyle for C Davis (50), D Woods for M Kenny (53).
Ref - D Fedigan (Louth).