GAA: Longford defeat Derry by two points in All-Ireland SFC qualifier at Celtic Park
Last Updated: 22/06/14 8:41am
Longford defender Shane Mulligan celebrates after the final whistle at Celtic Park
Longford are through to the second round of the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers after a surprise 2-16 to 2-14 victory over Division One runners-up Derry at Celtic Park.
Paul Barden’s goal on the half-hour gave the Leinster side a 1-6 to 0-7 half-time lead, and they extended their advantage to five points after the restart.
Benny Heron and Mark Lynch both netted for Derry to level proceedings with six minutes remaining, but substitute Mark Hughes’ replied with a major at the other end to clinch a stunning victory.
Defeated by Wexford in the last-eight of the Leinster Championship earlier this month, Longford got off to a shaky start in Derry as the hosts hit the game’s opening three scores.
The Oak Leafers led by four points after 25 minutes but Longford finished the half strongly. Colm Smyth fired over a point before Brian Kavanagh teed up Barden for a goal, and further scores from Sean McCormack and Barden gave the visitors a 1-6 to 0-7 lead at the interval.
Shane Mulligan and Michael Quinn extended’s Longford lead in the second half as Derry went 15 minutes without a score.
Heron handed Derry a lifeline when he fired through a mass of bodies, and captain Lynch brought the sides level when he buried a stunning shot past Damien Sheridan.
However, Longford produced an emphatic response as Francis McGee set up Hughes for their second goal.
Points from James Kielt and Enda Lynn made it a one-point game, but Kavanagh replied for Longford to secure a famous victory.
Longford: P Barden 1-2, S McCormack 0-4 (2f), B Kavanagh 0-3 (1f), M Hughes 1-0, M Quinn, F McGee 0-2 each, C Smyth, S Mulligan, B Gilleran 0-1 each.
Derry: M Lynch 1-4 (2f), J Kielt 0-4 (1f), B Heron 1-1 (1 ’45), E Lynn, T O’Brien 0-2, SL McGoldrick 0-1.