Longford midfielder Darren Gallagher converted an additional time free to send his side into the O’Byrne Cup Final

O'Byrne Cup - Dublin v Longford

Longford 1-13
Dublin 3-06
Glennon Bros Pearse Park

Not the start Dessie Farrell would have wanted for his tenure as new Dublin manager. But nonetheless Dublin were pipped at the very end, losing to Longford in their O’Byrne Cup Semi Final. The win for Longford will see them face Offaly in the competition decider.

Dublin supporters were visibly unhappy at the decision in the 74th minute which allowed Longford secure the win. But if anything today was an opportunity for Farrell to use the players at his disposal in the hope of finding new blood for Dublin as they approach the National Football League.

The new manager made as many as 23 switches during a hard hitting and sometimes ill tempered game in Pearse Park. And while a lot of the talent on display will not make Dublin extended league panel, there were certainly a few who stood out. Cuala’s Niall O’Callaghan put his mark on the game more than once. Younger brother of All Star Forward Con, Niall is similar in a lot of ways. And his directness with the ball found the net in both the 36th and 50th minute.

Killian O’Gara, who is no stranger to the O’Byrne Cup, also found the net. O’Gara, brother of recently retired Eoghan, has performed in recent pre-season competitions, and will be hoping it will be finally his time to break into the extended panel. He scored Dublin’s other goal in today’s clash.

A slow start for Dublin but they soon caught up

In a game that had very much the feel of a challenge match, Longford started stronger. By the midway point of the half they led Dublin by 0-04 to 0-01. O’Gara found the net in the 18th to level the game and by the break the score was 1-03 to 0-06.

Immediately on the restart Niall O’Callaghan found the net and Dublin were on the rise. They held the lead for 10 minutes before Kevin Diffley found the net for Longford to see them lead by a point. Michael Shiel had repelled a ball shot by Daniel Mimnagh, but Diffley was on hand bundle the ball over the line.

O’Callaghan reclaimed the advantage for Dublin with 20 minutes of normal time remaining. Niall Walsh released O’Callaghan who went one on one with keeper Paddy Collum. Collum successfully shielded the first attempt, but O’Callaghan finished the rebound.

Longford however wouldn’t let go and stayed within a brace for long periods. With six minutes left on the game clock Dublin Gary Seever scored his side’s final point to see Dublin ahead by two. But Longford would claim the last three scores to give the home side the victory.

Sadly, the game endded with Westmeath referee Alan Coyne having to be escorted off the pitch by stewards. Dublin fans behind the goal were clearly upset, venting their fury at several of his late decisions.

Scorers for Longford:

Darren Gallagher 0-05 (2f)
Kevin Diffley 1-01 (1f)
Rian Brady 0-04 (1f)
Oran Kenny 0-02

Scorers for Dublin:

Niall O’Callaghan 2-00
Killian O’Gara 1-00
Gerry Seaver 0-02
CJ Smith 0-01
Glenn O’Reilly 0-01
Nathan Doran 0-01
Dermot McLoughlin 0-01

Longford

1. Paddy Collum
2. Patrick Fox
3. Andrew Farrell
4. Barry O’Farrell
5. Iarla O’Sullivan
6. Michael Quinn
7. Colm P Smyth
8. Darren Gallagher
9. Kevin Diffley
10. Gary Rogers
11. Daniel Mimnagh
12. Dessie Reynolds
13. Rian Brady
14. Joseph Hagan
15. Oran Kenny

Longford Substitutes:

18. Darragh Doherty for Rogers (57)
24. Peter Lynn for Kenny (58)
26. Liam Connerton for Reynolds (68)

Dublin

1 Michael Shiel (St Sylvester’s)
2. CJ Smith (Lucan Sarsfields)
3. Eoin O’Brien (Castleknock)
4. Darren Byrne (Raheny)
5. Niall McGovern (Na Fianna)
6. Graham Hannigan (Castleknock)
7. Cian Murphy (Thomas Davis)
8. Emmett ó Conghaile (Lucan Sarsfields)
20. Tom Lahiff (St Judes)
10. Niall Walsh (St Oliver Plunkett/Eoghan Ruadh)
11. Dan O’Brien (Kilmacud Crokes)
12. Glenn O’Reilly (Na Fianna)
13. Killian O’Gara (Templeogue Synge St)
14. Niall O’Callaghan (Cuala)
15. Chris Sallier (Thomas Davis)

Dublin Substitutes:

17. Ross McGovern for Murphy (18)
26. Scott Fulham for O’Gara (19)
21. Ryan Deegan for O’Reilly (21)
24. Gerry Seaver for Walsh (25)
18. Sean Cleary for Smith (25)
25. David Quinn for Sallier (27)
23. Dermot McLoughlin for O’Brien (27)
22. Nathan Doran for Lahiff (29)
19. Eoin O’Dea for McGovern (30)
9. Andrew Foley for O Conghaile (32)
8. O’Conghaile for Foley (41)
10. Walsh for Seaver (45)
12. O’Reilly for Deegan (45)
7. Murphy for Cleary (49)
15. Sallier for O’Callaghan (50)
13. O’Gara for Quinn (56)
5. McGovern for O’Dea (56)
11. O’Brien for McLoughlin (56)
20. Lahiff for Doran (60)
24. Seaver for Fulham (60)
2. Smith for Hannigan (63)
14. O’Callaghan for Sallier (68)
19. O’Dea for Murphy (74)