Longford Ladies returned to winning ways on Sunday last when they saw off the challenge of Tipperary at Emmet Park, Killoe in Round 2 of the National Football League Division 3.
The home county began the first half playing with wind advantage and opened the scoring from a Sarah Tierney free with three minutes gone on the clock. Michelle Farrell added a second point, before Tipperary got their first score from a pointed free. Longford made better use of possession and appeared to be in control of the game, stretching their lead to two points with Anne Marie Bratten getting her name on the scoresheet and Michelle Farrell adding a second fantastic point to her tally.
Longford exerted their authority for the remainder of the first half with an Orla Noonan point, two Sarah Tierney frees and an excellent point from play by Elizabeth Brady.
Claire Greene’s long range free in the 26th minute added to the four more points registered by Tipperary (2 frees) left Longford leading by 0-9 to 0-5 at the break. But for the excellent defensive work of Louise Monaghan in clearing a Tipp’ shot off the goal Line in the 25th minute, this might not have been the case. Tipperary, playing with the wind in the second half, renewed with fresh enthusiasm and vigour in the opening 15 minutes. The visitors scored the first two points and after Longford replied with a point from Aishling O’Hara, Tipperary added a further 2 points to claw their way back to within a point of the home side.
With the score standing at 0-10 to 0-9, Longford netminder Monica Bannon pulled off a fantastic save to re-ignite Longford who in reply worked the ball back up to their forward line to allow Michelle Farrell a goal scoring chance, which was unfortunately saved by the Tipperary Keeper. Longford debutant, minor Eimear Heaney, then won a free which Claire Greene duly converted. A well taken point from play by Michelle Farrell was the final score of the game and with a sigh of relief the Longford ladies march on to their third round encounter next weekend against Wicklow. Under intense pressure in the opening minutes of the second half Longford’s defence stood firm. Michelle Noonan and Mairead Moore produced great performances and were ably supported by experienced full-back Marie Brady.
The return of sisters Jacinta and Elizabeth Brady, who were unavailable in the first round defeat against Sligo, added some much needed structure to Longford’s game plan while Michelle Farrell was always a threat in attack.
LONGFORD: Monica Bannon; Leanne Keegan, Marie Brady, Mairead Moore; Louise Monaghan, Michelle Noonan, Sharon Treacy; Jacinta Brady, Elizabeth Brady (0-1); Sarah Tierney (0-3), Aishling O’Hara (0-1), Michelle Farrell (0-3); Orla Noonan (0-1), Kerri Harmon, Anne Marie Bratten (0-1).
Subs used:- Amanda Matthews for L Keegan (18 mins); Claire Greene (0-2) for S Tierney (24 mins); Lisa Mooney for K Harmon (40 mins); Emer Heaney for A O’Hara (47 mins).