Patrick Murtagh was on the Louth minor team beaten by Longford on Saturday afternoon. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Leinster MFC Shield
Longford 2-18 Louth 2-9
Holders Longford advanced to the Leinster Minor Shield final following an emphatic victory over Louth in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday afternoon.
There was nine points between the sides at the end of the game, but it could’ve been a lot closer had Louth put away several goal chances that they created in both halves. Donal Leavy and Ben Collier having the best of those chances in the first half.
Louth cut the gap to five in the 49th minute but a goal from Conor Leonard three minutes later set Longford on their way to victory.
Keelin McGann led the line for Longford and was a real threat throughout with Tiarnan Hussey also causing problems for the Louth defence.
Longford made a fine start to the game. McGann scored two points (one free) and Leonard a point to put them ahead by three in the fifth minute. Craig Shevlin replied with a pointed free for Louth in the eighth minute.
The lead was five in the 10th minute when a Tiarnan Hussey free was slicked to the nEt by Jack Duggan. The impressive Conall McCaul hit over a free for Louth minutes later, but that was cancelled out by a McGann free in the 14th minute.
Longford keeper Conor Skelly made a fine save to deny Luke Matthews in the 15th minute; tipping his effort over the bar for a point. Louth them hit two bad wides as they enjoyed a spell of possession.
Duggan kicked over an excellent point in the 17th minute. Down the other end Donal Leavy should’ve done better with his effort hitting it low and wide. McGann kicked over two more points (one free) and a sweet Hussey point put Longford ahead by eight in the 28th minute.
Ben Collier had a goal chance for Louth seconds later, but he blasted his effort wide. Hussey kicked over two fines points to give Longford a 10 point lead going in at the break.
McCaul caused problems for Longford in the second half. McGann, Ciaran Scanlon and Hussey kept the scoreboard ticking over for Longford and they were ahead by 11 midway through the second half
McCaul kicked over a fine point and that was followed by a goal for the Wee County in the 47th minute after McCaul was fouled; substitute Kyle McElroy put away the penalty. A pointed free from McCaul cut Longford’s lead to five in the 47th minute.
Longford though responded with a great point from substitute Kevin Tansey and a goal from Conor Leonard settled the contest. McCaul got late consolation scores for Louth while McGann kicked over three in stoppage time to seal the win.
Longford: Conor Skelly; Seán McCormack, Seán O’Sullivan (0-1), Cathal Gilligan; Matthew Shaughnessy, Darren Moffett, Fionn Hourican; Conor Leonard (1-1), Ciarán Scanlon (0-1); Keelin McGann (0-9, five frees), Aaron Farrell, Jack Macken; Jack Duggan (1-1), Tiarnan Hussey (0-4, two frees), Seadhna Ryan
Sub: Kevin Tansey (0-1) for Macken (45), Daniel Kurkin for Shaughnessy (46), Ronan Sheahan for Duggan (51), Diarmuid Kelly for Ryan (55), Brian Masterson for Hourican (55), Cian McGuinnesss for Skelly (57)
Louth: Niall Brady; Pádraig Downey, Michael Staunton, MJ Hanlon; James McDonnell, Patrick Murtagh, Peter Lynch; Craig Shevlin (0-1, free), Thomas Rice; Ronan McBride, Conall McCaul (1-6, 0-3 frees), Donal Leavy; Ben Collier (0-1), Carl Gillespie (0-1), Tom Gray
Subs: Kyle McElroy (1-0, pen) for Leavy (42), Tom Mathews for Gillespie (42), Aaron Crawford for Hanlon (46), Aidan Grant for Downey (46), Aaron Carolan for Gray (48), MJ Hanlon for McBride (60, black card)
Referee: Eamon O’Connor (Offaly)