On Sunday last Longford welcomed Wexford to the Young Grattans grounds for Round 5 of the Tesco Homegrown National Football League. Wexford have struggled to date in Division 3 of the league and their fortunes didn’t improve on this occasion.
Longford, using the wind to good advantage, finished this game as a contest before half-time. Minor captain Michelle Farrell clocked up a total of 10 points (7 frees) in Longford’s first half rout over the visitors who failed to score.
All of the Longford forwards got their name on the scoresheet and these, along with a point from influential midfielder Elizabeth Brady and a goal from Claire Greene, left the home county in a very commanding 1-16 to 0-0 lead.
Longford maintained their composure and worked hard when forced to play the last ten minutes of the first half without Greene who was shown a yellow card. Finding it difficult to continue their first half momentum, Longford faced a more determined Wexford side in the opening exchanges of the second half. While Longford created chances with Claire Greene being denied by the crossbar, it was Wexford who converted the first three scores through pointed frees. Longford were again forced to play with 14 players when Sarah Tierney was very harshly dismissed for charging, having not long joined the play. Longford’s first score in the second half came from a Michelle Farrell free and this was closely followed by a brace of Wexford goals before tireless midfielder Jacinta Brady rattled the back of the Wexford net. The Longford defence was steadfast in breaking down any Wexford advance and overturned a number of attacks in the closing minutes. Corner backs Leanne Keegan and particularly Mairead Moore were excellent all day with good support from Lauren Farrell, Louise Monaghan and Marie Brady. Wexford could only muster a further point to their second half tally and this was sandwiched between excellent points from substitutes Aoife Darcy and Sarah Tierney to cement Longford’s emphatic victory. Longford now face neighbours Leitrim in their penultimate league fixture on Easter Sunday in Killoe (2pm). Both sides will enter this game needing a win to ensure a place in the Division 3 semi-finals and it promises to be an interesting encounter.
LONGFORD: Louise Clarke; Leanne Keegan, Marie Brady, Mairead Moore; Louise Monaghan, Michelle Noonan, Amanda Matthews; Elizabeth Brady (0-1), Jacinta Brady (1-0); Michelle Farrell (0-11, 8 frees), Siobhan McGowan (0-1), Claire Greene (1-1); Aisling O’Hara (0-1), Emer Kiernan (0-1), Anne Marie Bratten (0-1).
Subs used:- Lauren Farrell for A Matthews; Aoife Darcy (0-1) for E Kiernan; Sarah Tierney (0-1) for A O’Hara; A O’Hara for C Greene; Noeleen Donlon for M Noonan.