Longford were the big winners on the first weekend of GAA Championship action in Ireland as they defeated Laois in the Leinster SFC.

Glenn Ryan’s team were underdogs doing into the match at Pearse Park but that counted for little as they recorded a deserved 1-10 to 0-12 win.

Ryan was full of praise for his players after they came from six points down at half-time to win.

He said: “All our players today stood up and were counted when the pressure set in and I’m very proud of them all.

“While it may not have been expected that Longford would turn over a big gun like Laois, it just proves what hard work and dedication can achieve.”

Galway and Donegal won as expected, against Roscommon and Donegal respectively in Connacht and Ulster football clashes.

The only shock was Roscommon’s poor form as they went down by 3-15 to 0-10. Galway now play Sligo in the semi-finals.

Donegal were easy winners against Cavan in their first game as Ulster champions, winning by 1-16 to 1-10.

Louth will play Dublin in the Leinster quarter-finals after their 2-9 to 0-14 win over Westmeath in Navan.

Limerick got their Munster SFC campaign off to a winning start with a 2-12 to 0-7 victory over Waterford.

Longford's Paul Barden celebrates big GAA winIrish Independent