LONG SHOT AT GLORY IS RYAN'S AIM; ALL-IRELAND SF QUALIFIER.
Longford 0-13 Leitrim 0-10
LONGFORD boss Glenn Ryan hopes his side can push on from this hard-earned win and make it a summer of success for his adopted county.
The former Kildare star was encouraged by the manner in which his side dealt with their neighbours while Leitrim's dismal luck in the qualifiers continued as they are still without a win in eight attempts.
"We knew that results have been unfair to Leitrim over the years. Every team has to battle to beat them and we are just pleased that we managed to do that," said Ryan.
"This was not about football or performance, all of that can be analysed later. This was all about getting a result."
Leitrim joint-manager Mickey Moran had hoped his men would finally take a scalp, especially after a blistering start which shocked the home fans in the crowd of 4,325, as Leitrim raced into a 0-5 to 0-1 ahead after just 12 minutes.
"We showed in the opening ten minutes the sort of football we have been producing in training," said Moran.
"But the workrate dropped after that, especially out round the middle of the field and Longford came into the game."
The sides were level four times in the opening half but it might have been different had Damien Sheridan not tipped an effort from Leitrim wing-back Gary Reynolds over the bar.
They went in level at 0-7 each but Moran was worried by a couple of stats from the opening half.
"We only won seven out of 17 kickouts and scored just seven of 17 chances," he noted.
Longford boss Ryan was very happy with the way his side came out of the blocks after the restart, hitting five points without reply.
"It was our best period in the game and helped us push on from there, but we knew Leitrim would fight back," he said.
However, Leitrim just did not have the forwards to claw back such a big lead, especially as they never looked like scoring a goal in the second-half.
"In fairness, Longford closed us out fairly well, they defended well, but we can't leave it so late to come back into a match," said Moran.
They were aided when Longford's Kevin Smith received a second yellow in the closing minutes but while eight players were booked this clash was never dirty, but was competitive throughout. LONGFORD: D Sheridan; D Reilly, B Gilleran, D Brady; D Masterson (0-1), E Williams, N Farrell; G Denningan (0-2, both frees), K Smith; S Mulligan, F McGee (0-2, one free), P Berry (0-3); P Barden (0-1), C Mimnagh (0-2), B Kavanagh (0-1).
Subs: P Foy for Farrell, 59 mins; D Barden (0-1) for Mimnagh, 62 mins; K Mulligan for Berry, 65 mins. P Dowd for Kavanagh, 70 mins.
LEITRIM: E Lyons; M McGuiness, P Gilmartin, D Reynolds; B Prior, J McKeon, G Reynolds (0-2); G McCloskey, S Canning; M Foley (0-4, three frees), D Maxwell, P McGuinness (0-3, two frees); D O'Connor (0-1), T Beirne, J Glancy.
Subs: B McWeeney for Farrell, half-time; D Duignan for McCloskey, 47 mins; J Holohan for Foley, 52 mins; R Cox for Glancy, 58 mins.
RELIEVED Longford manager Glenn Ryan
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jul 6, 2009|
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