Longford boss Denis Connerton expressed his pride following Longford's defeat to Dublin in the Leinster SFC semi-final, and compared the reigning All-Ireland and Leinster champions to the 'Real Madrid of football.'

The midlanders suffered a 19-point pummelling at Croke Park, but managed to produce an encouraging performance despite playing much of the game with just 14 players.

Goalkeeper Paddy Collum pulled off a few crucial saves and scored from a '45, while Robbie Smyth, Dessie Reynolds and Rian Brady impressed in the Longford attack.

"We knew coming into the game that it was going to be very difficult," Connerton remarked when speaking to the Sunday Game after the final whistle.

"I've referred to Dublin as being the Real Madrid of football and I didn't see anything to change my mind there today.

"It's a team consisting of outstanding individuals and the group of them going together are awesome and difficult to deal with."

He added that Longford needed a 'needed a huge amount of luck' in order to be able to compete with Dublin and that they were 'unlucky in some aspects of the game.'

Longford's James McGivney and Dublin's Stephen Cluxton.

Full-forward James McGivney was issued a straight red card in the first half following an aerial challenge on goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton. It was a huge blow for the travelling side who were already trailing Dublin heavily at that point in the game.

"Dublin were awesome, they're finishing was hugely clinical and we went down to 14 men."

"It was a mountain to climb before that so it was just like climbing the highest mountain you could think of today so it was very difficult. But I'm proud of their efforts of our players. Our players stuck at it to the bitter end.

"We're very disappointed leaving here, we don't get here too often and we would have preferred to have been able to play with 15 and give a better account of ourselves."

Connerton's charges will be added to Pot Two for the second round draw for the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers tomorrow morning on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland at 8.30am.

Armagh, Cavan, Kildare, Mayo, Tyrone, Offaly, Waterford and Louth are the teams on the other side of the draw who Longford could potentially face in their next outing.

Longford have built up a healthy reputation in this competition, having won nine consecutive first-round qualifier games in recent years, and will be looking to build on that record this year.

"The qualifiers is our favourite competition so we're back in it again," said Connerton.

"The only difference is we're back in the second round of it, we're normally back in it the first round. We're taking a little step ahead of ourselves, so we just regroup.

"Our players need a bit of a breather after that, that was tough going today. It was a warm day, they've put a huge amount of effort into the game and they just need a little bit of time to recover and take a little time out and we'll come back and regroup on Wednesday night."