GAA Football

Longford star Michael Quinn praises Down after tight clash

Longford's Michael Quinn, pictured playing for Ireland, was outstanding against Down last weekend

LONGFORD ace Michael Quinn expressed a degree of sympathy for the Down footballers following the Leinster minnows' surprise All-Ireland win over the Mournemen last weekend.

Eamonn Burns' side racked up 3-17 after normal time and two periods of extra-time - but Longford hit an outstanding 2-24 to set up a Round 2B meeting with the losers of tomorrow night's Ulster SFC semi-final replay between Donegal and Monaghan.

Quinn, who was man-of-the-match against Down, admitted that the Longford players were quietly confident of upsetting the odds in Newry last weekend.

“There is something about the Qualifiers that is special to Longford and the Longford people," said former AFL star Quinn.

"Total football just seems to come out of us. There was maybe a bit of reckless abandon in defence but we went out and played football and I think Down did the same.

“That’s what Championship is about. Football has gone very defensive and there's 'don’t take risks' attitude, everything is conservative but that kind of scoreline against Down is what you want to see.

"It’s enjoyable. Fair enough, it’s not enjoyable for Down. To score 3-17 and you don’t win a game, that’s tough on them.

“Football has got a bad rap but some of the scores in the game were brilliant.

Quinn added: “We were quietly confident. We knew if we set ourselves up we might sow the seed of doubt in Down. We fought very hard and we got our reward in the end."

It took Down an interminably long time to get to grips with Quinn's brilliantly timed runs forward in Newry.

“In that role, sitting back a little bit and coming on to the ball late, it suits me that little bit more and you kind of read the play from that. Obviously Down saw that there was a threat there and I obviously went through a bit of a lull at the start of the second half but eventually I found my way back into it again."

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