All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Round 2A Qualifiers – Longford 2-12 Clare 1-12

Longford defeated Clare in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Round 2A Qualifiers on Saturday July 4th at Cusack Park Ennis.


SFC 2A: Longford battle to beat Clare in Ennis

ALL-IRELAND SFC ROUND 2A: CLARE 1-12 LONGFORD 2-12

By Daragh Small at Cusack Park, Ennis for GAA.ie

Full-forward Brian Kavanagh hit 1-5 as Longford broke Clare’s stranglehold in Cusack Park and ended their campaign in their Round 2A qualifier. Dessie Reynolds got the other goal for Jack Sheedy’s side who have always impressed in the qualifiers but away from home and in Ennis Clare looked a bridge too far in the first ever championship meeting between these teams.

However the Midlanders buoyed by their promotion to Division III this term have given youth its chance and it paid off here. Their 2-15 to 1-8 victory over Carlow in the last round provided some much needed confidence after the drubbing by Dublin in the Leinster quarter-final and this win will give Longford momentum.

Dean Ryan got Clare’s goal and they led 1-7 to 1-6 at half-time despite playing into the breeze and hitting nine wides before the break.
Gary Brennan got them off the mark with a free after two minutes, Kavanagh replied for Longford and after David Tubridy put Clare back in front Longford hit 1-3 without reply.

Kavanagh slotted the penalty in the seventh minute after a sublime catch from Liam Connerton who was then hauled down by Kieran Russell.
Longford were 1-3 to 0-2 up after 14 minutes but Eoin Cleary pointed a free for Clare and Brennan’s second put them just two in arrears. Then in the 27th minute Ryan was on the end of a sweeping move through the heart of the Longford defence with Cleary and Jamie Malone combining before the Clare wingback gave them the lead.

A Pat Burke point pushed them 1-6 to 1-4 up but Connerton and Dessie Reynolds shot scores with Sean Collins hitting the final score of the half. Longford has the perfect start to the second-half, four minutes in Rory Connor sent over a point and then Reynolds struck a killer second goal.

Two frees from Tubridy got Clare back on track but Connor got his second of the half. Longford 2-8 to 1-9 up in the 51st minute but quick-fire scores from Cleary and Tubridy out the sides level again. Masterson was sent-off shortly after he regained the lead for Longford and Ryan brought Clare level again but Kavanagh saw it out for the visitors.

***

Scorers for Longford: B Kavanagh 1-5 (1-0 pen, 4f), D Reynolds 1-1, L Connerton 0-2, R Connor 0-2, M Quinn 0-1, D Masterson 0-1.

Scorers for Clare: D Tubridy 0-5 (4f), D Ryan 1-1, E Cleary 0-2 (1f), G Brennan 0-2 (1f), P Burke 0-1, Sean Collins 0-1

LONGFORD: P Collum; C Farrelly, B O’Farrell, F Battrim; CP Smyth, B Gilleran, D Masterson; K Diffley, M Quinn; P Gill, D Reynolds, R McEntire; R Connor, B Kavanagh, L Connerton. Subs: S Doyle for Gill (48), R McNerney for McEntire (61), P Foy for Connor (66).

CLARE: J Hayes; C Russell, K Harnett, M McMahon; S Hickey, G Kelly, D Ryan; G Brennan, C O’Connor; Sean Collins, J Malone, K Sexton; E Cleary, P Burke, D Tubridy. Subs: S McGrath for O’Connor (19), E Coughlan for Cleary (54), Stephen Collins for Kelly (60).


Fixture Details

04.07.2015 (Sat)
GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 2A
Cusack Park, Ennis 17:00
An Clár v An Longfort
Referee: Anthony Nolan (Cill Mhantáin)
(E.T. if Necessary)


Team News

CLARE: TJ Hayes; C Russell, K Hartnett, M McMahon; S Hickey, G Kelly, D Ryan; G Brennan, C O’Connor; S Collins, J Malone, K Sexton; E Cleary, D Tubridy, P Burke.

LONGFORD: P Collum; D Brady, B O’Farrell, F Battrim; C Smyth, B Gilleran, D Masterson; K Diffley, M Quinn; P Gill, R McEntire, R Connor; L Connerton, B Kavanagh, D Reynolds.