Cork prove a bridge too far as Longford run out of steam

Rebels starts slowly but go through the gears after the break to reach the fourth round

Cork 2-9 Longford 1-6

It wasn’t third time lucky for Longford as a fine second half display saw Cork advance to the fourth round of the qualifiers.

After wins over Division 1 sides Down and Monaghan Longford were hoping to complete the hat-trick against the Rebels but it wasn’t to be for them in the end.

Longford bossed the opening half and should've been in front by more going in at the break. Robbie Smyth got their first score of the game in the fifth minute finishing off a lovely moving involving Darren Gallagher and Donie McElligott.

Cork settled down and showed their physicality hitting three points in a row to put them ahead by two in the 10th minute. A free from Smyth and a fine Diarmuid Masterson effort levelled matters in the 18th minute.

In the 26th minute Longford went three ahead when Smyth was fouled in the small rectangle and Brian Kavanagh made no mistake with the spot-kick. A neat point from James McGivney gave the Midlanders a four point lead going in at the break; 1-04 to 0-03.

Longford had chances in the early stages of the second half but rushed their shots and hit a number of wides. Down the other end Cork made no mistake with substitutes Colm O’Neill and Pa Kelly making a huge difference.

Three points in a row from the Rebels saw them cut the lead to just one point in the 46th minute. In the 49th minute Cork took the lead again in the 49th minute when O’Neill scored their first goal. Kelly added a point to put them three ahead in the 51st minute.

Both sides went down to 14 men in the 54th minute after a melee; James Loughrey (Cork) and Darren Gallagher (Longford) receiving straight red cards.

Kavanagh got a much needed point for his side in the 56th minute; their first point of the second half. Longford though were unable to cut into Cork’s lead and in the 60th minute there was five between the sides when Ian McGuire found the back of the net.

There was no way back for Longford. Michael Quinn and John O'Rourke added late scores for their sides as Longford ended the game with 13 men after Masterson received a second yellow.

Cork: R Price; C O'Driscoll, E Cadogan, N Galvin; T Clancy, J Loughrey (0-1), B O'Driscoll; A O'Connor, I McGuire (1-0); P Kerrigan (0-2,1f), M Collins (0-2), K O'Driscoll; D Goulding, P Kelleher, M Hurley (0-1). Subs: S Power for B O'Driscoll (36+1), P Kelly (0-1) for D Goulding and C O'Neill (1-1,1f) for K O'Driscoll (ht), J O'Rourke (0-1) for Kelleher (58), R Deane for O'Connor (70), S Cronin for O'Neill bc (70+3)

Longford: P Collum; C Farrelly, B Gilleran, D Brady; D McElligott, M Quinn (0-1), D Masterson (0-1); M Brady, D Gallagher; B O'Farrell, J McGivney (0-1), B McKeon; R Smyth (0-2,1f), B Kavanagh (1-1), L Connerton. Subs: M Hughes for M Brady (44), P McGee for McKeon (54), D Reynolds for Connerton (63), B Farrell for Kavanagh (64), R Connor for Farrelly (66)

Referee: B Cassidy (Derry)

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