Longford secured their Nicky Rackard status with an extra-time win over Louth in an entertaining contest in Mullingar.
There was little between the sides in normal time but Longford looked to be in control with a four point lead in the 55th minute. Louth though hit four unanswered points to bring the game to extra-time.
Longford’s star performer Joe O’Brien helped his side to the perfect start to extra-time with a goal. Louth’s ace marksman Liam Dwan made it a nervy finish when he goaled from the penalty spot but O’Brien set up Eoin Donnellan in the last minute to seal the win for Ray Gavin’s side. Louth will face a promotion/relegation battle against the Lory Meagher winners.
Scorers: Longford – J O’Brien 1-09 (4f), C Mullane 0-5, E Donnellan 1-1, C Kavanagha 0-3, K Mealiffe, L Kelly 0-1 each. Louth L Dwan 2-08 (6f, 1’65), S Callan 0-2, G Kerrigan, G Smyth, Gavin Kane, Oisin Drum, Paddy Lynch (f), R McKeown 0-1 each.
Longford: P Cullen; G Moore, K Murray, C Flanagan; B Stakem, B Hanley, J Casey (K Cox 64); K Mealiffe, P Barden; J Mulhern (L Kelly), M Coyle, C Mullane; E Donnellan, C Kavanagh, J O’Brien.
Louth; J Connolly; E McKeown, C Carter, R McKeown; G Kerrigan, B Carter, C Ryan; S Callan, D O’Hanrahan (C O’Reilly 80); G Smyth (N Cafferkey 90), G Kane (G O’Brien 89), A Mackin; L Dwan, S Connelly, P Lynch (O Drumm 46).