It was heartbreak for Longford ladies as they were defeated by Tipperary by the minimum of margins, after extra-time, in the All-Ireland Intermediate Football Championship quarter-final in Birr on Saturday last.
The biggest talking point after the game was a disputed score that Tipperary were awarded just before the break. Gillian O’Brien’s effort had been signalled wide by the referee, they went on to add a free to their tally, but minutes later one of the lineswomen called the referee over and the point was awarded. Longford lodged an appeal after the game.
Longford had enough chances to win the game but were wasteful in front of the posts. They made a great start to get their first goal in the 8th minute through Anne Marie Bratten but by the 22nd minute Tipperary were level. Two points and a long range effort that found the back of the net by Michelle Farrell put Longford ahead by five in the 26th minute but Tipperary ended the first half strongly and got scores including that disputed point from O’Brien.
Two early second half goals from Edel Hanley and Mairead Morrisey put Tipperary in front. Longford had goal chances but Sharon Treacy’s effort went over for a point while Michelle Farrell shot wide.
Sharon Treacy got a goal in the 48th minute that edged Longford in front but Tipperary hit back with points from Edel Hanley to put them ahead in the 51st minute but Longford levelled in the 60th minute with a score from Michelle Farrell. Longford should have had a free right at the end when Sharon Treacy was fouled but the referee decided to blow the full-time whistle. There was just three points scored in extra-time with Tipperary getting the winner in the 12th minute of the additional period.
TIPPERARY: Patricia Hickey; Brid Condon, Samantha Lambert, Rachel Kennelly; Sheelagh Carew (0-1), Claire Carroll, Barbara Ryan; Jennifer Grant, Aisling McCarthy; Laura Dillon, Lorraine O’Shea (0-1), Gillian O’Brien (0-1); Edel Hanley (2-7, 1-7f), Mairead Morrisey (1-1), Caitriona Walsh. Subs used:- Kelly Hackett, Niamh Lonergan and Sinead Delahunty.
LONGFORD: Michelle Kilkenny; Leanne Keegan, Marie Brady, Mairead Moore; Louise Monaghan, Lauren Farrell, Jacinta Brady; Elizabeth Brady, Siobhan McGowan; Sharon Treacy (1-3), Claire Greene (0-1,1f), Anna McDonnell (0-1); Emer Kiernan, Anne Marie Bratten (1-0), Emer Heaney.
Subs used:- Michelle Farrell (1-5, 3f) for E Kiernan (10 mins); Orla Noonan for E Heaney (half-time); Michelle Noonan for S McGowan (43 mins); Ashling Reynolds for L Farrell (53 mins); Sarah Tierney for A McDonnell (69 mins); Aoife Darcy for C Greene (70 mins).
Referee: James Flood