Longford ladies suffered their third defeat in Division 3 of the National League this season as goals proved decisive for 2014 All-Ireland Junior champions Wexford who won at Pearse Park on Sunday last.
The goals came at crucial times for Wexford and it knocked Longford’s momentum. Trailing by six points in the early stages of the second half, Longford did well to cut the deficit to just two but despite enjoying possession they squandered numerous scoring chances and Wexford hit them with a sucker punch in the 52nd minute when they scored their third goal.
Longford were never able to recover from that killer blow and despite hitting over late points they just couldn’t get the goal they needed to get something out of the game.
Sunday’s game marked the re-launch of the number 8 jersey for Longford. It had been retired following the sad passing of former county player Alison Smyth. One of the county’s most experienced players Mairead Reynolds was handed the jersey to wear.
It was Wexford that got the opening score; a point from Chantelle Martin in the 2nd minute. Longford had a goal chance one minute later but Sabrina Hackett appeared to slip when taking a shot and the ball went wide. Shortly after Michelle Farrell hit over a free to register Longford’s first point.
It was all go and in the 5th minute Wexford got their first goal when Niamh Moore was given too much space to shoot to the net.
Michelle Farrell replied with a fine point for Longford before Wexford hit over two points to extend their lead and during this period Longford’s Leanne Keegan was sinbinned.
Two points from Michelle Farrell (one free) got Longford to within two points in the 18th minute but Wexford hit back with two points to restore their four point advantage. Longford had chances before the break but could only add on one more point; a free from Farrell to leave the goal between the sides at half-time, 1-5 to 0-5.
Four minutes into the second half Wexford grabbed their second goal through Maria Byrne to stretch the lead to six points. Longford responded well to that setback and points from Aisling Greene, Aisling Cosgrove and an excellent score from Sabrina Hackett closed the gap.
Longford were dominating but for all their possession they couldn’t get scores. A nice point from Mairead Reynolds in the 47th minute brought her side to within two of Wexford. They were more missed opportunities for the home side after that and it was to prove costly as Wexford got their third goal in the 52nd minute.
With the visitor’s lead now extended to five points, Longford tried to get scores in the final minutes but the fightback was all in vain as they fell to a rather unlucky defeat in the finish and are back in action on Sunday next in Round 4 of the National League at home to neighbours Leitrim.
LONGFORD: Jessica Stewart (Clonguish); Rachel O’Farrell (Carrickedmond), Geraldine McManus (Ballymahon/Forgney), Leanne Keegan (Mostrim); Aisling Cosgrove (Longford Slashers, 0-1), Orla Noonan (St Helen’s), Rebecca O’Hara (Mostrim); Mairead Reynolds (Dromard, 0-1), Clare Farrell (Longford Slashers); Fiona Fox (Killoe), Michelle Farrell (Colmcille, 0-7, 4 frees), Aisling Greene (Clonguish, 0-1); Aoife Darcy (Clonguish), Sabrina Hackett (Killoe, 0-1), Shauna McCormack (Carrickedmond).
Subs:- Ellie Collum (St Helen’s) for A Darcy (14 mins); A Darcy for R O’Hara (half-time); Aedin Mimnagh (Dromard) for R O’Farrell (47 mins); Patricia O’Hara (St Helen’s) for A Darcy (53 mins); R O’Hara for F Fox (60+5 mins).
WEXFORD: Aoife McAuliffe; Maeve Quill, Masica Cullen, Clara Neville; Beth Cardiff, Sharon Kehoe, Danielle Chin; Roisin Murphy, Clara Donnelly (0-1); Rachel Bridges, Katie Redmond (0-2, 2f), Kelle Kearney; Chantelle Martin (0-1), Maria Byrne (1-0), Niamh Moore (1-1).
Subs:- Ciara Goland for D Chin (injured, 20 mins); Chantelle Martin (1-0) for K Redmond (41 mins); Niamh Butler for R Bridges (47 mins); Katie Redmond for N Moore (49 mins).
Referee: Des McEnery