Lory Meagher Cup Round 4 Longford V Cavan

May 15th, 2024 | News

Lory Meagher Cup Round 4  Longford V Cavan

Hurlers suffer setback against Longford
Lory Meagher Cup round 4

Longford 0-25

Cavan 1-19

Cavan’s bid to make this year’s Lory Meagher Cup final hangs in the balance following the team’s dramatic penultimate round defeat last Saturday at Kingspan Breffni.

Needing victory to book their place in the decider, Cavan played catch-up for the entirety of the match save three minutes but just couldn’t thwart the Cian Darcy-inspired visitors.

While it wasn’t quite a one-man show last Saturday, seldom has such weight been attached to one’s man’s championship contribution as that lent by Tipp native Darcy’s performance to Longford’s narrow win.

The Kilruane McDonaghs clubman showed all the acumen that garnered him all-Ireland underage medals at minor and under 21 levels with the Premier County by notching 16 points; even though the awarding of some of the opportunities presented to him by referee Judge caused considerable ire in the Cavan camp and supporters.

Darcy consistently punctured Cavan’s balloon but, in truth, Cavan will doubtless recognise that they blew their chance of claiming a place at Croker at the first time of asking by failing to cash in on the assistance of the wind (blowing towards the town end) in the second half plus the dismissal of Longford midfielder Paddy Lynham just shy of the hour mark, 15 minutes-plus before the final whistle was finally sounded.

Longford bared their teeth early. They started much the better, quicker off the mark and more aggressive in the close exchanges and, in warm, clammy conditions, they gradually turned up the heat to lead by double scores, 0-6 to 0-3, after 17 minutes.

Cavan were worryingly slow off the starting blocks but a terrific Cillian Sheanon goal (23) – arrowed in from 25 metres – looked like igniting Cavan’s cause.

At that stage, Longford looked ropey for the first time in the match and it took a great diving save by ‘keeper Pat Burke to deny Sheanon a second goal.

As the tension rose, tempers flared along the sideline. When the dust had settled, under-pressure ref Judge handed out a red card to Cavan team-manager Ollie Bellew and his Longford counterpart Adrian Moran.

On the field, Longford managed to weather Cavan’s mini-storm and thanks, in the main, to Darcy’s eagle-eye, the Leinstermen meandered their way into 0-12 to 1-5 lead at the interval.

After match-winner Darcy converted yet another free to extend Longford’s lead to six points (0-14 to 1-5) with 39 minutes on the clock, Cavan fought back to notch four unanswered points from four different players, O’Brien, Maher, Kenny and Keating, up to the three-quarter hour mark.

Predictably, Longford looked to one man in particular to cement their lead (0-14 to 1-9) and, sure enough, Darcy’s points continued to pock-mark the game. A brace of frees from him helped keep Cavan at arms’ length at the 51st minute mark.

Cavan kept nipping away at Longford’s heels though and points from messrs. Kenny and Keating helped keep things simmering.

Seconds later, Cavan seemed to have gotten a major and timely leg-up when Longford midfielder Paddy after Lynham saw red. Moments later, Liam O’Brien’s free (59) ensured just the minimum separated the sides, 1-14 to 0-18.

Cavan drew level (1-16 to 0-19) in the 61st minute for the first time since the 6th minute when, after some intricate passing, Nicky Kenny rifled the ball over the bar.

Cavan had the momentum at this stage and after yet another Darcy free, they levelled again (1-18 to 0-21) in the 63r minute with a point from Kenny.

It was anyone’s game as the finishing post came into view but Longford held their nerve to get over the line with a point apiece from David Buckley and Reuben Murray rendering Liam O’Brien free (75) meaningless.

Cavan: Conor Gallagher ; Shane Briody, Gavin Fitzpatrick, Enda Shalvey; Diarmaid Carney, Liam O’Brien (0-6, 4f, ’65), Mattie Hynes; Dillon Mulligan(0-1), Cillian Sheanon (1-0); Thomas Leonard (0-1), Jack Barry (0-1) Nicky Kenny (0-4); Seán Keating (0-3), Mark Moffett, Canice Maher (0-2).

Subs; Brian Fitzgerald (0-1) for M Moffett; Philip McCabe for D Carney; John Carney for M Hynes; Rory Farrell for T Leonard .

Longford: Pat Burke; Diarmaid Caslin, Eamon Allen, Sean Lancaster; Adam Quinn, Karl Murray, Evan Tully; Paddy Lynham, Cathal Mullane; Oisín Gately, David Buckley, Joe Rabbitt; Reuben Murray, Cian Darcy (0-16, 15f), Micheál Mulcahy.

Subs; John Casey for D Caslin; Ronan Courtney for M Mulcahy.