O'Brien saves the day for Longford
Longford 2-20 Louth 2-16
An inspired performance from Joe O'Brien helped Longford secure their Nicky Rackard status for next year. The Clonguish clubman scored one goal and set up another as Longford claimed victory after extra-time.
Heading into the final 10 minutes of the game, Longford had been in front by four points, but Louth then hit four in a row late in normal time.
In the first minute of extra-time O'Brien scored a fantastic goal and then right at the end he set up Eoin Donnellan to score Longford's second goal.
There was little between the sides in the first half with Louth holding a one-point lead at the break thanks to Liam Dwan's early goal. Longford pulled away midway through the second half and with 10 to go they were ahead by four but Louth fought back.
There was just a point between them with one minute of the game remaining as O'Brien gained possession, he raced through before passing to Donnellan and he made no mistake, finishing crisply to the net.
Scorers - Longford: J O'Brien 1-9 (4f), C Mullane 0-5, E Donnellan 1-1, C Kavanagh 0-3, K Mealiffe, L Kelly 0-1 each. Louth: L Dwan 2-8 (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 Mealiffe, P Barden; J Mulhern, M Coyle, C Mullane; E Donnellan, C Kavanagh, J O'Brien. Subs: K Cox for J Casey (64), L Kelly for J Mulhern.
Louth - J Connolly; E McKeown, C Carter, R McKeown; G Kerrigan, B Carter, C Ryan; S Callan, D O'Hanrahan; G Smyth, G Kane, A Mackin; L Dwan, S Connelly, P Lynch. Subs: C O'Reilly for D O'Hanrahan (80), N Cafferkey for G Smyth (90), G O'Brien for G Kane (89), O Drumm for P Lynch (46).
Ref - J O'Brien (Tipperary)