21:13, 30 Jun 2012
Longford 0-17 Derry 2-8
Free-taker Sean McCormack starred with an 0-11 haul to guide Longford past two-goal Derry at Pearse Park tonight.
The sides were level on five occasions in the first half before points from McCormack and Bernard McElvanney gave Longford a 0-8 to 0-5 interval lead.
A neck injury to Longford's John Keegan delayed the second half and Derry edged ahead with a brace of goals from an unlikely source - corner back Barry McGoldrick.
But the defender's evening was soured by a red card right at the death as the hosts repeated their 2006 qualifier win over the Oak Leafers at the same venue (1-16 to 2-12).
Longford manager Glenn Ryan likened Derry to 'a wounded animal' after their tame Ulster SFC exit to Donegal, and the sight of Eoin Bradley starting at corner forward was the welcome boost for the visitors.
David Barden's place in the Longford attack went to Francie McGee who landed the game's opening point after good build-up play involving Sean McCormack and Shane Mulligan.
Derry wasted little time in replying, Emmett McGuckin was picked out for the first and Mark Lynch followed up with the second as they profited from a quick supply of ball.
McCormack converted his first free to bring the hosts level in the seventh minute, before Derry countered from deep and worked the ball through for Paddy Bradley's opening score.
Brian Kavanagh was fouled for McCormack's second pointed free and Longford engineered the game's first goal chance on the quarter hour mark.
Derry goalkeeper Danny Devlin dived well to parry a goal-bound effort from McCormack after a purposeful run from Shane Mulligan. Michael Quinn salvaged something from the attack with a well-struck '45'.
John McCamley and McCormack swapped points as Longford maintained their one-point buffer - 0-5 to 0-4 - with the latter's effort a peach of a score from out on the right.
Derry were enjoying the better of possession but unable to show that on the scoreboard - Paddy Bradley missed a decent goal chance - although McCamley was back on target to tie things up after Niall Mulligan was flashed a yellow card.
Paul Barden, who had largely been kept quiet, dropped a shot short of the posts and Martin Donaghy was duly booked for a clumsy challenge on Shane Mulligan.
After another Derry foul closer in, McCormack swung over his fourth point of the evening and Bernard McElvanney broke from midfield to add to Longford's advantage.
That stood at 0-8 to 0-5 at the break, with McCormack tagging on another free as Derry endured a scoreless 12 minutes.
A lengthy injury stoppage for McElvanney's centre-field partner John Keegan, who sustained a neck injury, saw the second half held up for a considerable time.
When play resumed, Eoin Bradley closed the gap to two points but it was back to three in no time as a foul on McGee led to McCormack pointing for the sixth time.
Paddy Bradley responded with a free as the pace quickened again. Longford then built from the back with a lively move ending with Kavanagh setting up McCormack for a 30-yard effort.
But Derry suddenly got back on terms after corner back McGoldrick helped himself to a goal. Paddy Bradley managed to get the ball to him and the defender turned well to finish to the net.
McCormack settled Longford down with a free. At times Derry were guilty of overusing the short pass, and the hosts broke downfield for Paul Barden to tee up a Colm P Smith score.
Bradley, with a lovely point from distance, and McCormack (free) exchanged points before Shane Mulligan hit a poor wide with McCormack lurking for a possible goal opportunity.
Longford's lack of a goal-scoring threat came back to haunt them when McGoldrick drifted forward to smack home his second major.
The hosts were wobbling now at 2-8 to 0-13 down, but just after 11 minutes of injury-time was signalled for McCormack was hauled down 14 metres out and with a goal on his mind.
Referee Michael Duffy felt it only warranted a yellow and McCormack lobbed over the free to cancel out Derry's brief lead.
Two monster scores followed from Kavanagh and man-of-the-match McCormack to give Longford a deserved 0-16 to 2-8 advantage, with Derry resorting to lobbing in high balls in the hope of getting a break.
Substitute Padraig McCormack got in the scoring act to put three between the sides and Derry simply had no answer, with a last-minute brawl resulting in goal scorer McGoldrick seeing red.
Scorers: Longford: S McCormack 0-11 (0-7f), F McGee, M Quinn (0-1 '45'), B McElvanney, CP Smith, B Kavanagh, P McCormack 0-1 each
Derry: B McGoldrick 2-0, Paddy Bradley 0-3 (0-1f), J McCamley 0-2, E McGuckin, M Lynch, E Bradley 0-1 each
LONGFORD: Damien Sheridan; Dermot Brady, Barry Gilleran, Declan Reilly; Colm P Smith, Michael Quinn, Shane Mulligan; Bernard McElvanney, John Keegan; Francie McGee, Paul Barden, Niall Mulligan; Donal McElligot, Brian Kavanagh, Sean McCormack.
Subs used: David Barden for Keegan (36 mins), Padraig McCormack for N Mulligan (46), Peter Foy for McElligot (70+9).
DERRY: Danny Devlin; Ryan Dillon, Chrissy McKaigue, Barry McGoldrick; Ryan Scott, Mark Craig, Sean Leo McGoldrick; Michael Friel, Patsy Bradley; Martin Donaghy, Mark Lynch, John McCamley; Eoin Bradley, Paddy Bradley, Emmett McGuckin.
Subs used: Conleith Gilligan for Donaghy (46 mins), Neil Forrester for E Bradley (70+4), Joe Diver for Patsy Bradley (70+6).
Referee: Michael Duffy (Sligo)