Friday 22 September 2017

Ryan heaps praise on Longford squad for sticking around

Longford 2-14 Limerick 0-9

Longford manager Glenn Ryan lavished praise on his team for their first win of the season, but also for ignoring the chance to go abroad to play football.

And Ryan pulled no punches with footballers from other counties who head off to America instead of lining out for their counties.

"I wouldn't put these lads up on a pedestal, but none of these fellas have f**ed off when there is the Laoises, the Galways and Armaghs, teams that have greater, loftier ambitions and greater traditions than we have. These fellas stuck around," said Ryan, whose side claimed their first win of the season.

"It wasn't easy but they stuck around. They didn't go away. They didn't go off to America looking for the sugar daddy or whatever it is that is over there. And if we hadn't won it would have been a travesty for those fellas.

"I'm not saying they were in any way perfect over the last few weeks, but the fact that they were here and that they showed that respect to their team-mates and their clubs and their county, to not just drop everything at the drop of a hat and stay around, that is huge. That shouldn't be underestimated," he said.

Limerick boss Maurice Horan was unable to lead his troops to a fifth win in six qualifier games under his tenure and he said he needs a bit of time to consider his position ahead of next season.

"Look, we never performed tonight and to be honest we haven't done so since the league final. The intensity wasn't there. If we had done what we set out to do, it would have been a far different game.

"I don't know what next year will bring. Now is not the time to be making decisions like that. I'll take some time to consider what is best for the team, but I'll take some time to do that," said Horan, who saw Micheal Reidy and John Riordan sent off late on.

Limerick were slightly lucky to only trail their hosts by 0-8 to 0-4 at half-time after Sean McCormack kicked five points for Longford, but they fell asunder after the restart when Ryan's men hit them for a quick-fire 1-2.

MAGNITUDE

Francis McGee goaled for Longford in the 37th minute and JJ Matthews added a second 10 minutes later. And Ryan was quick to acknowledge the magnitude of the win for his side.

"It's hugely important for the team. Jaysus, there's no disguising that fact. It has to be some sort of record to have gone as long as we have gone after playing what we have played the last couple of years without winning a game.

"They should get the recognition they deserve. And since we came back this thing has been driven by the players. If their attitude is right it doesn't matter what you say. They deserve every bit of credit they get and I hope they do get it," he said.

Scorers – Longford: S McCormack 0-8 (5fs), JJ Matthews 1-2, F McGee 1-0, N Mulligan 0-2, P Barden, J Keegan 0-1. Limerick: E O'Connor, S Buckley 0-3 (1f) each, D O'Connor (1f), G Collins, I Corbett 0-1 each.

Longford – D Sheridan 7; D Brady 7, B Gilleran 7, D Reilly 7; B O'Farrell 8, P McCormack 8, S Mulligan 9; J Keegan 8, M Brady 7; B McElvaney 7, P Barden 7, P Foy 7; F McGee 7, S McCormack 9, JJ Matthews 8. Subs: N Mulligan 8 for Foy (49), C Smyth 7 for Barden (64), K Diffney 7 for Keegan (65), A Rowan 7 for McGee (66), S Doyle 7 for McElvaney (66).

Limerick – B Scanlan 7; M O'Riordan 7, J McCarthy 6, A Lane 6; J Riordan 5, P Browne 6, P Ranahan 7; B O'Brien 6, J Galvin 6; S Lavin 7, T Lee 6, I Corbett 6; E O'Connor 8, S Buckley 8, G Collins 7. Subs: D O'Connor 7 for Lee (h-t), S Lucey 6 for O'Brien (42), M Reidy 3 for Corbett (46), S O'Carroll 6 for Collins (48), C Cody 6 for Lane (66).

Ref: D Gough (Meath)

Irish Independent

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