Saturday 17 November 2018

Sheedy: 'Nobody in the country gives us a chance in hell of beating the Dubs'

Longford's Barry Gilleran celebrates with his manager Jack Sheedy
Longford's Barry Gilleran celebrates with his manager Jack Sheedy

With Jack Sheedy and Jim Gavin being former team-mates from back in the day, it was put to the former that the latter might do him a favour in Croke Park in under two weeks' time when their respective teams meet in a Leinster quarter-final most expect Dublin to use for shooting practice.

"He'll probably bring in 15 or 16 new players to get a look at them," Sheedy smiled. "If he does that, we'll see!"

He followed it up with the customary pre-match cry of the underdog: "Nobody in the country gives us a chance in hell really of beating Dublin," and in that, his only possible sin was understatement.

But Sheedy was entitled to his moment of satisfaction on Saturday night without contemplating too deeply a potential Sunday afternoon from hell on May 31.

To be fair, it didn't look great for Longford in Tullamore.


It never does when you watch the opposition score 10 points in a row either side of half-time.

That particular spree might have been broken up somewhat by a helpful Longford goal, had Mickey Quinn managed to tuck away his penalty just on the stroke of half-time, but even that went wrong for Sheedy's men when Alan Mulhall pulled off a good, low save.

When Offaly kicked two first points of the second half and Longford responded only with two wides, the visitors' goose didn't look so much cooked but more resembling a burnt carcass.

"When the pressure came on, we crumbled, to be totally honest," said the admirably honest Pat Flanagan afterwards of what followed.

However, it wasn't immediately clear if he regretted getting his knickers in a twist so often about the venue (Croke Park) for a match that doesn't now involve his Offaly team.

"They came and they intimidated us in the first 10 or 15 minutes and we found it very hard to get used to that," he claimed.


Offaly go now nine years without a win in Leinster. They haven't been much of a qualifier team in that span of time either.

"Bascially, I think mentally we're not in the right place yet," he said, trying to reason a run of 11 Longford points to Offaly's one down the stretch as the home team folded like a nervy poker player in front of their crowd.

"That's a game we should have won today and we couldn't get across that line. I honestly believe it was more a mental factor."

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