Favourites Dublin sensationally go out to Longford
Longford 1-6 Dublin 1-5:Overwhelming favourites, Dublin were sensationally dumped out of the Cadbury’s Leinster Under-21 championship following a narrow loss to Longford at Parnell Park.
The visitors, who arrived buoyed by their recent Hastings Cup success, took a deserved lead in the fourth minute as Robbie Smyth eluded Niall McGovern to point.
That lead should have been extended as Longford missed four great chances inside 10 minutes as the hosts struggled in the early exchanges.
However, their first score arrived in the 20th minute but the goal was well worth the wait as Paul Mannion’s quick transfer to Ciarán Kilkenny gave the Dublin senior sufficient time to unleash a sublime finish to the net from eight metres.
That concession briefly unnerved Longford and an Emmet Ó Conghaile point five minutes later doubled the home lead and a second goal almost arrived in injury-time. However, Paul Maguire blazed wide from close range.
Trailing by 1-1 to 0-2 at the break, Longford immediately reduced their arrears through a close-in free by Smyth but the corner-forward missed a brace of chances in the ensuing five minutes as his side monopolised possession.
From limited opportunities, Dublin managed to regain their two-point advantage through Shane Carthy’s ‘45’ in the 38th minute but a glorious point from Smyth three minutes later gave renewed hope to the midlanders.
Their chances were further enhanced as Smyth evaded the clutches of David Byrne to fire an unstoppable goal beyond Lorcan Molloy in the 53rd minute.
Despite the dismissal of captain Pádraig McCormack in the 58th minute, and the concession of two points to Gavin Ivory in the dying minutes, Longford claimed their scalp with Kilkenny missing a difficult free in injury-time.
DUBLIN: L Molloy; R McGowan, David Byrne, N McGovern; E Lowndes, C Mulally, J McCaffrey; S Cunningham, E Ó Conghaile (0-1); P Maguire, S Carthy (0-1, ‘45’), Danny Byrne; P Mannion, A Caffrey, C Kilkenny (1-1, free). Subs: N Scully for Danny Byrne (25), C McHugh for Caffrey (38), G Ivory (0-2) for Maguire (41), P Ryan for Mannion (44).
LONGFORD: P Columb; R Keogh, B O’Farrell, D Bennett; D Farrelly, P McCormack, D Cooney (0-1); P Thompson, D Gallagher; R O’Connor (0-1), B McKeon, D Mimnagh; R Smyth (1-3, one free), M Hughes (0-1, free), J McGivney. Subs: C Lynn for OConnor (51), A Dalton for McGivney (59), D Quinn for Mimnagh (60). Referee: Garret Whelan (Longford)