Saturday, February 09, 2008

Dublin 2-12 Longford 1-14 (O'Byrne Cup Final)

For the first time in our history Dublin have retained the O'Byrne Cup and with 2 minutes to go & Longford out of sight who would have believed it.

From the off Longford tore into Dublin and in jig time they had opened up a 7 point lead. Pillar made some positional changes, most noticeably moving Bryan Cullen to play as a sweeper around the half back line, & the tide was quelled. Dublin grew in confidence and at half time were only down by 2 points. At this time the bookies must have had Dublin odds on to win but nobody told Longford who immediately took up the pace again and with the superb Brian Kavanagh, they had the foil. Cometh the hour, cometh the man & with shades of 1995, Jason Sherlock got on the end of a Bernard Brogan pass to goal. Longford immediately moved back up the field and a point taken put them 2 clear in injury time & forlorn looks on Dubs fans faces. But this Dublin side don't know how to give up and after another creditable game in the middle, Eamonn Fennell floated a sublime pass over the Longford defence finding Jason who threaded the ball through the eye of the packed Longford goal-line & put Dublin in front.

Boom, boom, boom. The crowd went wild and in scenes reminiscent of the '95 All-Ireland success the team were swamped. This Dublin side know how to win. We could be in for an interesting & exciting summer.

DUBLIN - John Leonard; David Henry, Ross McConnell, Stephen O'Shaughnessy; Philip McMahon (Colin Moran (45)), Paul Casey, Derek Murray (Paul Brogan (60)); Eamonn Fennell, Shane Ryan (Declan Lally (35)); Bryan Cullen, Alan Brogan, Brian McManamon (0-01); John O'Brien (0-03)(Niall O'shea (70)), Bernard Brogan (0-07), Kevin Bonner (0-01) (Jason Sherlock (45) (2-00)).

LONGFORD - D Sheridan; D Brady, D Masterson, D Reilly; S Mulligan, A O'Connor, N Farrell; P Dowd (0-01), E Farrell; D Barden (0-01), D Farrell (0-02), P Berry (K Mulligan (25) (0-02)); B Kavanagh (1-04), P Barden (0-01), F McGee (0-03).

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