Eamonn Callaghan goal begins onslaught as Kildare put Longford to sword

Jason Ryan’s side run out 19-point winners in Mullingar

Kildare 2-24 Longford 0-11

Eoghan O'Flaherty kicked five points but it was the first-half goal from Eamonn Callaghan that began the onslaught from Kildare in Mullingar.

Longford couldn’t cope with their midland rivals in the second half and having trailed by just five moments before the break they would go on to fall to a 19-point defeat at Cusack Park.

Alan Smith got Kildare's second goal midway through the second half but at that stage the Lilywhites were well clear and already planning for their Round 4A qualifier.


They will face the runners-up from either Leinster or Munster in the next phase but first they had to overcome a tricky Longford challenge.

Jack Sheedy’s men have made the qualifiers their own in recent years, last term they knocked out Derry in Celtic Park.

But against Kildare it was already an uphill struggle when they trailed 1-10 to 0-5 at the break.

Diarmuid Masterson was sent off in the second half for Longford for a second yellow card – although nobody seemed to have seen the first – while Pádraig O'Neill and Paul Cribbin were shown black for the opposition.

O'Flaherty got things going for Jason Ryan's men, Paul Cribbin and O'Flaherty again followed up before Brian Kavanagh slotted Longford's first.

But there was an ominous feel as Kildare stretch 0-8 to 0-1 clear in the 21st minute.

Longford had dragged it back to 0-10 to 0-5 just before the half-time whistle but Callaghan struck and that was that.

Longford needed a fast start to the second half but instead let Kildare move out of sight.

Again they got three-in-row before Rory Conor replied and Dessie Reynolds backed him up but then the floodgates opened.

Masterson was controversially sent off for a second yellow, but then Smith struck for Kildare’s killer second goal and they tacked on a further eight points before the end to ensure Longford left Cusack Park reeling.

KILDARE: M Donnellan (0-2, two 45s); C Fitzpatrick, M O'Grady, O Lyons (0-1); K Murnaghan, E Doyle, E Bolton (0-1); T Moolick, P Cribbin (0-4); P O'Neill (0-2), E O'Flaherty (0-5, four frees), C McNally (0-1); N Kelly (0-2), A Smith (1-1), E Callaghan (1-1).

Subs: M Sherry (0-1) for O'Neill (22 mins, black card), H Lynch for Cribbin (49 mins, black card), M Conway (0-3, three frees) for Callaghan (56 mins), P Kelly for Doyle (58 mins), Fogarty for Smith (60 mins), C O'Donoghue for Bolton (66 mins).

LONGFORD: P Collum; F Battrim, B Gilleran, C Farrelly; CP Smyth, B O'Farrell, D Masterson; M Quinn, K Diffley; S Doyle, R McEntire (0-1), D Reynolds (0-1); R Connor (0-1), B Kavanagh (0-7, five frees), L Connerton (0-1).

Subs: D Brady for Smyth (25 mins), P Foy for Diffley (45 mins), P Gill for Doyle (56 mins), T Gallagher for Battrim (59 mins), R McNerney for Connor (63 mins).

Referee: Derek O Mahoney (Tipperary).