Longford in dreamland as Farney flop
Longford 2-13 Monaghan 1-13
Longford produced the shock of the summer to send reigning Ulster champions Monaghan crashing out of the championship race in a thriller. The only other championship meeting between these two ended with Longford shocking Monaghan here in 2004.
It was a fully deserved success for Denis Connerton's men, who recovered from a Monaghan blitz before the break to seal a remarkable win.
Longford started the opening half in a blaze of glory but Monaghan finished it in style to lead by 1-9 to 1-6 at the break.
Robbie Smyth edged the visitors in front with a free before Mickey Quinn finished to the net after Liam Connerton had been denied by Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan. Monaghan, playing their third game in 14 days, took a long time to settle and while Conor McManus fired over a brace of points, Longford led by 1-4 to 0-2 after 15 minutes thanks to a couple of points from James McGivney and a free from Brian Kavanagh.
There was still five between them after 27 minutes but Monaghan took over and finished the half powerfully. Conor McCarthy and Jack McCarron both got their second points of the match before Longford's Donal McElligott was black-carded. Another McCarthy point followed, and then Monaghan got a goal when McCarron's shot was smothered and Colin Walshe followed through and side-footed home. Another McManus free and a good point from Ryan McAnespie put the hosts three up at the interval.
Longford made a great start to the second half with Diarmuid Masterson pointing inside ten seconds and Kavanagh pointed a sideline to cut the gap to the minimum. Goalkeeper Beggan went forward to point a free for Monaghan but the away supporters in the crowd of 6,262 got hope when Masterson and McGivney pointed to level the game at 1-10 apiece after 44 minutes.
Kavanagh and Connerton then pointed for Longford as Monaghan continued to miss good chances. But efforts from McCarthy and Shane Carey drew the Farney men level with 12 minutes left.
However, Masterson struck the next point for Longford and then Connerton soloed through to set up Robbie Smyth for a goal which pushed them four in front with eight minutes left. Monaghan cut the gap to a point but never looked like salvaging their summer as Longford secured a remarkable victory.
Scorers - Longford: R Smyth 1-3 (0-2f); D Masterson, J McGivney, B Kavanagh (0-1f, 0-1 s-l) 0-3 each; M Quinn 1-0; L Connerton 0-1. Monaghan: C McCarthy, C McManus (0-3f) 0-4 each; C Walshe 1-0; J McCarron 0-2; R Beggan (1f), R McAnespie, S Carey 0-1 each.
Longford: P Collum; C Farrelly, P McGee, B Gilleran; D McElligott, M Quinn, B McKeon; M Brady, D Gallagher; D Masterson, D Brady, J McGivney; R Smyth, B Kavanagh, L Connerton. Subs: B O'Farrell for McGee (24), D Reynolds for McElligott (31, black card), M Hughes for M Brady (h-t), R Connor for McKeon (60, black card), B Farrell for Gallagher (65), S Hannon for Smyth (72).
Monaghan: R Beggan; C Walshe, D Wylie, C Boyle; K O'Connell, V Corey, F Kelly; N McAdam, D Hughes; R McAnespie, D Malone, T Kerr; J McCarron, C McManus, C McCarthy. Subs: O Duffy for Malone (h-t), S Carey for O'Connell (h-t), D Mone for Kerr (50), K Hughes for McCarron (56), S Gollogly for Duffy (63).
Referee: C Branagan (Down)
Sunday Indo Sport