McKeon goal puts paid to Meath rally
Longford withstood an impressive comeback by Meath in a cracking encounter at Pearse Park to secure a place in the final.
Longford 2-18 Meath 2-12
The home side's first-half performance gave them a solid advantage which stood to them at the end of the 60 minutes as they led 1-9 to 0-4 going in at the break, with Brian Farrell's 10th-minute goal setting the tone.
Meath hit back with two goals from Chris O'Connor, but Longford wing-forward Paul McKeon netted to take the sting out the the Royals' fight and Paddy Collum's shot-stopping prowess kept Longford on track.
Scorers – Longford: P Gill 0-6, B Farrell 1-3, B McKeon 1-2, D Gallaher, R O'Connnor 0-2 each, D Cooney, McGivney, A Dalton 0-1 each. Meath: C O'Connor 2-2, D Kiernan, B O'Brien 0-2 each, D Rowe, J Toher, S Crosby, B Breannan, J McEntee, A Burk 0-1 each.
Longford – P Collum; A Farrell, P Brady, G Smith; J McGivney, F Reilly, D Cooney; D Gallagher, R McEntire; B McKeon, P McKeon, A Dalton; B Farrell, P Gill, R Connnor. Subs: D Farrelly for A Farrell (10), D Mimnagh for D Gallaher (57).
Meath – D Quirk; N Judge, B McConn, D Rodgers; R Geraghty, C Rowe, O Kieran; J Toher, K Traynor; B O'Brien, B Brennan, C O'Connor; J McEntee, S Crosbie, A Burke. Subs: D Rowe for C Rowe (36), A Gannon for A Burke (36).
REF – S Johnson (Louth)
PHILIP TINNELLY scored three superb points as all six Cavan forwards got on the scoresheet in a a facile victory in Dundalk.
Louth hit the front first, with a Sean McCann free opening the home side's account. But Cavan began to assert their dominance with a score from Enda Reilly.
Eight points without reply in the second quarter proved decisive as Louth had no reply to the onslaught and Cavan led by nine at the half-time break.
Cavan were able to empty their bench in the closing stages and ran out nine-point winners.
SCORERS – Cavan : E Reilly 0-4 (3fs), D Hyland, P Tinnelly 0-3 each, M Lyng, P Leddy, C Conroy, P O'Connor, J Morris, L Buchanan, T Moore 0-1 each. Louth: S McCann 0-3, E O'Connor 0-2, T Durnin, A Williams, N Conlon 0-1 each.
CAVAN – J Farrelly; F Reilly, J Morris, D Barkey; N Smith, B Doyle, C Moynagh; P Leddy, L Buchanan; P Tinnelly, C Conroy, M Lyng; P O'Connor, D Hyland, E Reilly. Subs: T Moore for P O'Connor, P Smith for N Smith, B Sankey for L Buchanan, Niall Clerkin for E Reilly, E Hession for D Barkey.
LOUTH – R Sansom; A Williams, B Mulligan, P Nixon; C O'Hanlon, G Connolly, R Brennan; S McCann, J Califf; T Durnin, J Kermode, P Kirwan; N Conlon, E O'Connor, G McSorley. Subs: B Duffy for J Kermode, J Agnew for J Califf, D O'Hanlon for G Connolly, D O'Connell for P Kirwan.
REF – N McKenna (Kildare).