A potent Longford outfit easily secured their Leinster semi-final berth after they made light of Carlow at Pearse Park tonight.
The host stormed into a commanding lead in the opening quarter and never relinquished that advantage over the course of this dull encounter.
Longford inflicted all the damage in the early exchanges, thanks mainly to the scoring duo of Joe Heaney and Daragh Doherty. Carlow for their part were forced to play catch on all evening and at no stage did they appear to threaten Longford’s tight grasp on this one sided affair.
Fifteen minutes into the contest and Longford firmly stamped their authority after they registered 1-5 without reply. Full-forward Joe Heaney bagged two points before Darragh Doherty slotted home a close range goal beyond the reach of Carlow net minder Ciaran Byrne.
Carlow were handed a golden opportunity to reduce the gap when Shane O’Neill stepped up to take a penalty in the 15th minute, O’Neill however scuffed the spot kick much to the amusement of the home support. The visitors finally broke their duck in the 17th when O’Neill slipped over a close range free and by the interval they managed to bridge the gap back to six.
After the break, the visitors endeavoured to find some way back but a lack of firepower up front proved to be their downfall. They did instigate a brief fight back in the closing stages thanks to a number of points from O’Neill, Bambrick and Lunney, this however was short lived and Longford restored order with a brace of scores from Cillian Lee and Jayson Matthews.
Scores: Longford: C Berry 0-4 2f, D Doherty 1-1,J Heaney 0-3, J Matthews 0-2, M Cahill 0-1, P Lynn 0-1, R Brady 0-1, C Lee 0-1.
Carlow: S O’Neill 1- 3f, C Larkin 0-2,1f, C Bailey 0-1f, B Smith 0-1f, D Lunney 0-1, S Bambrick 0-1,
Longford: M Hughes; C Brady, R Sheahan, C Lee; M Cahill, C Farrell, K Sorohan; E Farrell, C Berry; C McCabe, J Matthews, J Hearney; P Lynn, P Hanley, D Doherty
Subs: R Moffitt for C Brady 39th, R Brady for P Hanley 35th, R Hawkins for C Heaney 56th, C Finnan for K Sorohan 57th,
Black card: R Harkin for C Berry 62nd.
Carlow: C Byrne; C O’Doherty, J Brennan, C Byrne; D Salter, C Gaffney, D Crooks; P Hennessy, C Bailey; A Amond, S Bambrick, C Larkin; J Clarke, S O’Neill, D Lunney.
Subs: B Smith for C Bailey 27th, R Dunphy for A Amond 37th, C Crowley for D Lunney 36th, F Murphy for D Salter 50th
Ref: D Moore (Laois)