Longford 4-11 Louth 3-13
Longford advanced to the quarter-final of the Eirgrid Leinster U20 championship at Louth's expense after a controversial conclusion in Haggardstown.
When referee Shay Farrelly blew for full time, confusion about the final scoreline surrounded the venue outside Dundalk.
With a delayed huddle around the referee’s notebook and an incorrect scoreboard at the ground, bizarrely it was Louth’s players came away celebrating what looked like a famous comeback victory, only for Farrelly to correct his error and rightly award Longford the victory.
The start to the game was as dramatic as the finale, Keelin McGann, the game's most exciting player, fired on all cylinders from the get-go with a goal from Longford’s first attack.
That blistering start shell-shocked Louth further as they went on to concede two more goals inside the opening five minutes of the contest.
Euan Finneran and Daniel Reynolds found the net in subsequent attacks to make it 3-04 to 0-01 before the first-half water break.
Louth midfielder Conal McCaul and full back Glen Stewart found their range as Louth missed three goal chances of their own in the opening half.
Louth full forward Jay Hughes did provide a lifeline for the hosts with a goal on the stroke of half time. To leave five points between the sides with the score 3-07 to 1-08.
Upon the restart, Louth were much the better side.
Wing-back Gabriel Bell was a driving force down the left flank and when his shot for a goal cracked off the crossbar Hughes was on hand to tap it in.
Full of confidence and momentum, Hughes fired over two points in a row to amazingly leave the minimum between the sides 3-09 to 2-11.
However, Longford dug deep from their own attacking wing-back Jake Donnelly as he forced a save from Joe Gordon and the ball was parried to substitute Jack Duggan to fire what seemed to be the winner.
Louth again rallied through Bell, the left footer struck a wonder strike through a mass of bodies deceiving Ollie Duffy.
For the audacity alone, the goal looked to propel Louth through to the next round.
Louth replacement Luke Mathews clipped over 45’ to make it a one point game again, only for that momentous push to come to a sudden halt from Farrelly’s final whistle.
Louth: Joe Gordon; Gerry Browne, Glen Stewart (0-01), David Lally; James McDonnell, Ciaran Murphy, Gabriel Bell (1-02); Seán Healy, Conal McCaul (0-03, 0-02f); Jonathan Commins, Dáire Nally, Ben Collier; Michael Begley, Jay Hughes (2-02), Carl Gillespie (0-04, 0-02f).
Subs: Tom Jackson for Lally (18), Luke Matthews (0-01, 0-0145’) for Commins (46).
Longford: Ollie Duffy; Jakub Kajan, Darren Moffett, James Kiernan; Jake Donnolly, James Moran, Fionn Hourican (0-01); Michael Kajan, Tadhg McNevin (0-01); Darragh O’Connell, Jordan Martin, Euan Finneran (1-00); Keelin McGann (1-05), Eoghan McCormack (0-01), Daniel Reynolds (1-03, 0-02f).
Subs: Conor Leonard for Martin (h-t), Jack Duggan (1-00) for McCormack (49).
Referee: Shay Farrelly (Dublin)