Carlow are out of the Leinster Senior Football Championship after a disappointing defeat to Longford in Tullamore on Sunday.
Longford took control of the game right from the outset with midfielder Kevin Diffley pointing immediately after the throw-in. It was a lead that Carlow would never overturn. Darragh Foley got Niall Carew’s side off the mark, but it was Longford who strode into a big lead as the half progressed.
Michael Quinn and Rian Brady pointed either side of a Darren Gallagher free to move Longford 0-04 – 0-01 ahead. Darragh Foley gave Carlow some much-needed respite with a beautifully struck free, but it was nothing more than a slight reprieve as Longford regained control.
Corner forwards Robbie Smyth and Rian Brady extended Longford’s lead before another Gallagher free left the scoreboard reading 0-07 – 0-02 midway through the second half. Kilbride’s Darragh Foley did his upmost to keep his side in the game, but Longford never let up with Gallagher, Dessie Reynolds and Donal McElliott moving them into a nine-point lead.
Colm Hulton and Chris Blake ate into their opponent’s lead before Paul Broderick opened his account with a free to make the score 0-13 – 0-06 at half time.
Carlow started the second half in the same manner that they finished the first with two Broderick frees further reducing the deficit. However, that was as good as it would get for Carlow as Longford once again moved into the ascendancy. Dessie Reynolds, David McGivney and Rian Brady giving them a 0-16 – 0-09 lead after 45 minutes.
McGivney and Broderick exchanged scores before Conor Crowley expertly scored the first goal of the game to give Carlow a glimmer of hope. Again, it didn’t spark Carlow into life as Smyth scored his fourth, fifth and sixth points of the game and Joseph Hagan got his first to put all of Longford’s forwards on the scoresheet and leave eight between the sides, 0-21 – 1-10.
The exhibition from both corner forwards Brady and Smyth continued as Brady got his fifth from play. Darragh Foley pulled one back for Carlow to reduce the gap to eight points with ten minutes left on the clock, 0-22 – 1-11. Darren Gallagher got his first from play with a fisted point as Paraic Davis’ men oozed with confidence throughout a lob sided encounter in Tullamore.
Darragh Foley grabbed a goal for Carlow to leave four points between the sides, but Paddy Fox and Dylan Farrell moved Longford six ahead, 0-25 – 2-13. That was the last of the scores for both teams as referee Conor Lane blew the final whistle as Carlow exit the championship in the first round.
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