Sunday 22 April 2018

Longford cause major upset by beating Derry in Celtic Park

Paul Barden, Longford, in action against Gareth McKinless
Paul Barden, Longford, in action against Gareth McKinless

Longford have produced the biggest shock of the GAA summer so far with a 2-16 to 2-14 victory over Derry at Celtic Park.

Jack Sheedy's 9/1 outsiders were impressive throughout with Mickey Quinn and Paul Barden in particular, very influential.

Two Derry goals after the hour mark looked to have swung things in favour of the Oak Leaf county but a goal from substitute Mark Hughes helped Longford hang on.

It was Longford's third win in four encounters with Derry in the history of the qualifiers.

Terence O'Brien, an 18-year-old making his debut for Derry, was among the early point scorers as Derry made a very good start.

Longford did settle and frees from Sean McCormack kept them in touch.

A free from distance from Mark Lynch and a beauty from play put Derry 0-5 to 0-3 to the good after 20 minutes.

Emmett Bradley was next on the scoresheet for Derry but Longford hit back with a Colm Smyth point and a goal from Paul Barden who was causing problems all afternoon.

McCormack and Barden hit points late in the first half and the Leinster side led by 1-6 to 0-7 at the interval.

Shane Mulligan and Mickey Quinn pushed Longford into a four-point lead just after the break as they raised white flags.

Derry were in big trouble but points from Lynch and Sean Leo McGoldrick kept Brian McIver's side in it.

A huge point from full-back Barry Gilleran before Brian Kavanagh and Terence O'Brien swapped scores and there was a goal in it with 20 minutes to go.

Francis McGee and Paul Barden stretched Longford's lead back out to five points with 10 minutes to go.

Derry needed a goal and they got as Benny Heron pulled on the ball and it flew into the back of the net.

Sean McCormack responded with a point for Longford but incredibly Derry struck for another goal, this time it was a stinging effort from Mark Lynch.

The momentum was was with Derry but Longford didn't panic and sub Mark Hughes pounced for a goal and Francis McGee added a brilliant point with his left peg.

Enda Lynn and a brace from James Kielt made it a one-point game on the stroke of full time.

Longford didn't wilt in injury time and a Brian Kavanagh proved to be the insurance score as Jack Sheedy's men held on for a deserved two-point win.

Online Editors

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