Don’t miss out on your free and exclusive Longford Champions 2017 calendar in tomorrow’s Longford Leader.
2016 was a momentous year for the GAA in Co Longford on many levels and the calendar will feature photographs of champions in almost every grade.
Once again we saw our all conquering ladies team reclaim All Ireland honours – their first since 1997. It was a powerful second half performance that saw them victorious over Antrim.
It was a brilliant team effort inspired by team captain, Mairead Reynolds, who shared further glory when she was named the TG4 Junior Player of the Year.
The county seniors went on a decent run in the qualifiers after an initial Leinster Championship defeat to Offaly. They recorded memorable wins over Down and Monaghan before defeat to a strong Cork side in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.
The mighty men of Mullinalaghta claimed the senior county title and then went on a heroic Leinster championship run. To cap a brilliant year for the north Longford club, they then completed the double and took home the Leader Cup with a hard fought win over Clonguish in the final.
St Brigid’s Killashee were the popular winners of the Intermediate football championship when they overcame near neighbours and rivals, Cashel on a 1-11 to 0-6 scoreline.
Whilst denied success in the senior championship, Killoe were never far from the silverware and were victorious over the Ardagh/Moydow combination in the Intermediate B final, 1-10 to 2-2. There’s a steady stream of young talent coming through in Killoe and a wonderful U-21 team were impressive 4-14 to 0-10 winners over Clonguish in the U-21 final. T’was also a stylish U-16 Killoe side that beat Slashers 4-8 to 1-6 in the final of that competition.
However the young Killoe guns came up short when they fell against a powerful Shamrock Gaels side (Ballymahon/Forgney and Cashel/Killashee) in the minor final on a 3-15 to 1-8 scoreline.
Good work being done at grassroots and underage level in Longford Slashers and in a hard fought U-14 A final replay they were victorious over Northern Gaels, 2-5 to 1-6.
It was a golden year for the ladies game in Longford. Killoe once again reigned supreme in the senior competition whilst Carrickedmond were crowned the Intermediate champions and Dromard took home the honours in the junior series. Then an all conquering Longford Slashers minor team were easy winners over Ballymahon/Forgney in their final, 4-12 to 1-3.
In schools football there were notable performances from the two secondary schools in Ballymahon. The Vocational school U-14 side beat Heywood CS from Co Laois to win the Leinster Post Primary Schools C Final on a 2-12 to 1-6 score line. Then the Mercy Secondary School Ballymahon U-16 ladies team were beaten by Rathmore from Co Kerry in the All Ireland Junior C final, 7-6 to 3-8.
The annual Longford Leader Team of the Championship gala night took place early in 2017 and was one of the first official events for the newly elected chairman of Co Longford GAA, Eamon Reilly.
One of his first duties was to present the senior club player of the year award to Mullinalaghta’s James McGivney. Willie Skelly of St Brigid’s was the intermediate player; whilst veteran campaigner Ciaran Keogh was the popular winner of the Intermediate B award. Jacinta Brady collected the Ladies Player of the Year award. Wolfe Tones and Mostrim clubman, Seamus Hannon was the Hurler of the Year. One of the highlights of the night was when long time Granard St Mary’s stalwart Rogie Martin was inducted into the Longford GAA Hall of Fame.
So it was another year of many highs for the GAA family in Co Longford and we look forward to more of the same in 2017.