Smyth on song as Longford book last-four spot
Longford 1-14 Kildare 0-13
Longford booked their semi-final berth in the O'Byrne Cup with an impressive four-point victory over Kildare at a Glennon Brothers Pearse Park yesterday.
The hosts trailed by one point at half-time, but showed greater hunger after the break to set up a clash with Meath next Sunday.
This third-round encounter was a slow burner for much of the first half.
Kildare dropped two chances short before Longford's Sean McCormack tapped over.
Midway through the first half, the visitors started to impose themselves.
Paul Cribbin got the ball rolling for the Lilywhites with a long-range effort and three frees from Kevin Feely put them into the ascendency.
Longford drew level with the help of points from McCormack and Robbie Smyth. Daniel Flynn, however, struck in stoppage-time to give the visitors a one-point lead at the break.
On the resumption, the home side quickly set about getting things back on track.
McCormack added his fifth point and they took the lead when Robbie Smyth rattled the back of the Kildare net.
Longford's purple patch was short-lived, however, as Cian O'Neill's outfit regrouped and applied plenty of aerial pressure.
Substitute Fionn Dowling made an instant impression as he tapped over two unanswered points off his right peg, while Luke Flynn and Tommy Moolick fired over.
Longford, however, turned the screw in the closing stages, with three further points from impressive youngster Rian Brady to extend their O'Byrne Cup campaign.
Scores - Longford: R Smyth 1-4 (1f), S McCormack 0-5 (4fs), R Brady 0-4, D Reynolds 0-1. Kildare: K Keely 0-4 (4fs), D Flynn, P Cribbin, F Dowling 0-2 each, E Lawless, L Flynn, T Moolick 0-1 each.
Longford - P Collum; P Fox, P McCormack, B Gilleran; M Quinn, B McKeon, P Foy; D Gallagher, C Berry; D Mimnagh, A Farrell, D Reynolds; R Smyth, S McCormack, D Carrigy. Subs: R Brady for Carrigy (22), D Quinn for Foy (52), D McGivney for Farrell (55), S Donohoe for Gilleran (60), C Lee for Reynolds (67), J McGivney for Mimnagh (67), K Farrell for Brady (70).
Kildare - M Donnellan; P Kelly, M Kelly, M Hyland; A McDermott, E Doyle, C O'Donoghue; K Feely, T Moolick; R O'Giollain, D Flynn, P Cribbin; J Hyland, E Callaghan, R Lawless. Subs: P Brophy for Flynn (27), J Byrne for Doyle (31), N Flynn for J Hyland (36), K Cribbin for O'Donoghue (ht), P Connell for O'Giollain (ht), M O Grady for Callaghan (46), D Hyland for McDermott (46), F O'Dowling for Lawless (46),
Ref- C Dwyer (Offaly)