Longford ladies are relegated in narrow defeat

Sarah Shannon pictured in action for the Longford ladies against Tipperary in the National League at Pearse Park on Sunday last. Photo: Declan Gilmore Photography
Longford ladies suffered the disappointment of relegation to Division 4 of the National League after losing to Tipperary at Pearse Park on Sunday last but they didn’t go down without a fight and produced a spirited display.

Longford ladies suffered the disappointment of relegation to Division 4 of the National League after losing to Tipperary at Pearse Park on Sunday last but they didn’t go down without a fight and produced a spirited display.

Compared to previous performances this was a big improvement by Longford and they had chances to claim a win and force a relegation play-off. There is a lot to work to do but there are positives to take from this game as Longford now turn their attentions to preparing for the Intermediate Championship.

Tipperary made a terrific start to lead by 2-3 to 0-0 after just seven minutes. But Longford slowly began to come back into the game and a goal from Laura Burke in the 15th minute closed the gap. In the 23rd minute the game was all square when Michelle Farrell found the back of the net with an excellent strike.

Three minutes later and Aoife Darcy put Longford ahead for the first time with a point but Tipperary hit back with two goals; one being rather fortuitous. Darcy then hit over another point as Longford went in at the break trailing by four points, 4-4 to 2-6.

The visitors scored two more points early in the second half and while Anna McDonnell got a point for Longford, a fifth Tipperary goal then materialised.

But Longford came storming back with points from Michelle Farrell and Aoife Darcy before Aisling Reynolds grabbed a goal in the 39th minute to make it a three point game.

Reynolds then landed a point and while Tipperary got vital scores it remained tight during the remainder of the contest with the home county trying in vain to get the goal that would have put them ahead. In stoppage time points were traded by Lorraine O’Shea and Sarah Shannon as Longford’s fightback came up short and so it’s Division 4 football next year.

LONGFORD: Derval Murphy; Rachel O’Farrell, Geraldine McManus, Aedin Mimnagh; Rebecca O’Hara, Claire Farrell, Catriona Moore; Mairead Reynolds, Aisling Reynolds (1-3); Aisling Greene, Anna McDonnell (0-2), Aoife Darcy (0-3); Laura Burke (1-0), Michelle Farrell (1-3, 1 free), Sarah Shannon (0-2).

Subs:- Michelle Mulvey for R O’Hara (half-time), Niamh Feeney (0-1) for L Burke (44 mins), R O’Hara for R O’Farrell (injured, 60 mins).

TIPPERARY: Lauren Fitzpatrick; Maureen Murphy, Emma Buckley, Anne O’Dwyer; Sinead Delahunty, Treasa McGrath, Roisin McGrath; Bernie Ryan, Breda Feeney; Laura Dillon, Aoife Ryan (1-1), Gillian O’Brien (1-3); Sarah Ryan, Shauna Ryan (2-1), Sarah Everard (0-2).

Subs:- Louise Cadell for M Murphy, Barbara Ryan for S Delahunty, Aine Lyons (1-2) for B Feeney and Aoibhe O’Shea (0-1) for L Dillon (all half-time), Niamh Longeran for B Ryan (45 mins), B Ryan for R McGrath (48 mins), Aimee Pollard for S Everard (54 mins).

Referee: Gerry Carmody (Mayo).