Longford’s goal-den girls put in a superb performance to emphatically defeat Kildare in the Leinster U16B Final in Kinnegad on Wednesday evening.
Longford led by 3-6 to 0-7 at half time with Molly Mulvihill, Kamille Burke and Grace Shannon netting the goals and they completely brushed Kildare’s challenge aside in the second half.
Midfielder Melissa O’Kane was excellent, her midfield partner Grace Shannon played her part while lively corner-forward Kamille Burke was awarded the player of the match scoring 2-4 and setting up a number of other scores.
Before Longford got those goals their defence stood firm while Kildare were on the attack and trying to get scores with keeper Riane McGrath putting in an assured performance and full-back Teni Alaba was resolute throughout.
Kildare opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a neat point from Holly Tyrell. Two Lauren McGuire points and one from Kamille Burke put Longford 0-3 to 0-1 ahead in the 14th minute. They enjoyed possession but didn’t make it count on the scoreboard.
Points from Zoe Brierty and Tyrell (2) edged Kildare 0-4 to 0-3 ahead in the 19th minute. Brierty shot wide while Riane McGrath pulled off a fine save to deny Tyrell in the 22nd minute. That save proved crucial with Longford scoring a goal seconds later through Molly Mulvihill.
McGuire and Grace Shannon put four between the sides in the 25th minute. Kildare replied with two points but in a two minute spell Longford extended their lead to nine points.
Burke scored a goal from a tight angle and then seconds later Shannon lobbed the ball over Fiadh Whiteley. Tyrell hit over a point right before the half-time whistle as Longford went in, ahead by eight points, 3-6 to 0-7.
Longford made a great start to the second half with points from Burke and Shannon (free). In the 34th minute Melissa O’Kane won possession and raced through before scoring a great goal, 4-8 to 0-7.
Hayley Wiltshire hit over a nice point for Kildare before Longford took complete control of the game and were clinical. Kamille Burke scored her second and Longford’s fifth goal in the 40th minute. Substitute Elle Lynn set-up McGuire one minute later and she found the back of the net.
O’Kane and McGuire scored their second goals of the game as Longford continued to be ruthless and Kildare just couldn’t deal with them. Another Burke point in the 48th minute stretched Longford’s advantage to 25 points, 8-9 to 0-8.
In the 49th minute Kildare got their second point of the second half but Longford replied with Burke setting up McGuire to complete her hat-trick of goals. Eimear Hanlon and McGuire then traded points. McGuire’s point in the 59th minute was Longford’s last score.
Kildare ended the game with a point from Hannah Davis and Riane McGrath was finally beaten by Hanlon when she scored a goal in stoppage time.
LONGFORD: Riane McGrath; Avril Wilson, Teni Alaba, Grace Kenny; Caoimhe McCormack, Aoife Donnelly, Leah Shannon; Grace Shannon (1-2, 0-1 free), Melissa O’Kane (2-0); Katelyn McKeon, Lauren McGuire (3-4, 0-1 free), Sarah Tully; Kamille Burke (2-4), Molly Mulvihill (1-0), Kate Shannon.
Subs: Zara Mulvihill for G Kenny and Elle Lynn for S Tully (half-time); Shauna Heaney for L Shannon (57 mins), Emma McGuire for K Shannon (58 mins), Keeva Gillen for K McKeon (60 mins)
KILDARE: Fiadh Whiteley; Jill O’Toole, Muireann Ures, Fáinche Grimes; Emma Aleenan, Hannah Davis (0-1), Zoe Harris; Ella Hayes (0-1), Eabha Devenny; Holly Tyrell (0-4, 0-1 free), Eimear Hanlon (1-1), Niamh Mortell; Elena Prendergast, Zoe Brierty (0-1), Hayley Wiltshire (0-3).
Subs: Leanna Tsang for N Mortell (half-time), Aoife Kilkenny for J O’Toole (34 mins), Aisling Archbold for Z Brierty (49 mins)
REFEREE: Leah Mullins, Carlow