Pádraic Davis quits as Longford manager after Meath hammering

Royals march on to the Leinster semi-finals with ease after 4-22 haul in Navan

Meath’s Eamon Wallace scores a point during their Leinster SFC quarter-final win over Longford. Photo: John McVitty/Inpho

Meath 4-22 Longford 0-12

Pádraic Davis stepped down as Longford manager after their 22-point Leinster SFC defeat to Meath, admitting he has neither the energy nor appetite to lead a period of rebuilding.

The former county attacker guided Longford to O’Byrne Cup success in 2020 and the midlanders retained their Division 3 status last month with a big win over Tipperary before putting 0-25 on the board against Carlow in the Championship.

The step up to face the 2019 and 2020 provincial finalists was severe, however, and Longford struggled.


Two points behind with 32 minutes on the clock, they conceded the next 1-5 and hit the interval trailing by 10, effectively ending the contest.

Shane McEntee’s second minute goal got Meath going and there were further majors from Jordan Morris, who top scored with 1-4, under-20 star Cathal Hickey and substitute James Conlon.

The giant win to secure a last four place came as some consolation for Meath following last month’s Division 2 promotion playoff loss to Kildare.

“I have never doubted the players,” said Meath manager Andy McEntee. “We have had our setbacks sure, we have had loads of setbacks but they’ve always responded in a very positive fashion and they’ve done so again.”

McEntee chose to watch the game from the press box and was pleased to see a dozen different scorers, and 1-5 from subs. There’ll be bigger challenges, of course, but in light of the Kildare defeat, and the lingering bad vibes after the row with under-20 manager Bernard Flynn which prompted Flynn’s resignation, it was a timely win.

“The last five or six minutes before half-time we put a big gap between the teams,” said McEntee. “I think we won four kickouts in-a-row and got a goal and a few points which certainly damaged Longford’s hopes.”

Six early wides undermined Meath’s efforts and kept Longford in the game though a knee injury suffered by influential midfielder Darren Gallagher, forcing his exit at half-time, hurt the visitors.

Meath closed out the half with 1-5 including a well-worked Morris goal which was created by Bryan McMahon and they led 2-10 to 0-6 at the break.

A third quarter burst of 1-4 without reply from the 2010 provincial winners left 15 points between the teams, McMahon this time playing in Hickey for the goal.

James McEntee booted four long-range points as a sub for Meath while Conlon capped the big win with their fourth goal in the 70th minute.

Meath: A Colgan; S Lavin, R Ryan, D Keogan; C Hickey (1-2), S McEntee (1-0), F Reilly (0-1); E Devine, B Menton (0-1); P Harnan, B McMahon (0-4, 1f), M Costello (0-1, 1 45); J Morris (1-4, 1f), C O'Sullivan (0-3), J Wallace (0-1).

Subs: E Wallace (0-1) for Menton 46, J McEntee (0-4) for Hickey 54, M Newman for Morris 54, J O'Connor for Reilly 61, J Conlon (1-0) for Costello 61.

Longford: P Collum; P Fox, E Macken, A Farrell; I O'Sullivan, M Quinn, D Mimnagh; K Diffley (0-1), D Gallagher (0-1, 1f); D Reynolds (0-1), D McGivney (0-3, 3f), D McElligott; R Smyth (0-1, 1f), J Hagan (0-1, 1m), R Brady (0-3, 1f).

Subs: D Farrell for Gallagher h/t, O Kenny for McElligott 53, L Connerton for Smyth 53, P Lynn for Mimnagh 53, D Doherty (0-1) for O'Sullivan 58.

Referee: C Branagan (Down).