Aisling O'Hara pictured in action for Longford against Antrim in the Ladies National Football League Division 4 game in Belfast on Sunday last. Photo: Frank McGrath
Longford ladies made a terrific winning start to their National League Division 4 campaign when they ran riot in registering a landslide win over Antrim in Queens University, Belfast on Sunday last.
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 4 - Round 1
Longford . . . . 7-20 Antrim . . . . . 0-2
Longford dominated from the start and were clinical and ruthless in front of the losts against a young Antrim side consisting of mainly U-21 players.
Manager James Daly used this game to give every player an opportunity to impress. Sarah Tierney made a welcome return to county football while Aisling McCormack (who started), Niamh Darcy, Megan Lynn and Aine Barry all made their senior debut and made an impression on the management team.
Last year there were great battles between Longford and Antrim with the Saffrons defeating them in the Division 4 league semi-final and Longford coming out on the top in the All-Ireland Junior Final.
Promotion to Division 3 is the main aim for Longford this season and they certainly signalled their intentions with this stunning display in Belfast.
Longford started the game excellently and inside the opening quarter they held a 3-9 to 0-0 lead; the goals coming from Sarah Tierney, Aisling Greene and Aisling Reynolds. The visitors added further goals before half-time as Antrim found it extremely hard to cope with Longford’s superior strength and superb football.
While the forwards were in fine form, Jacinta Brady and Aisling Reynolds were excellent at centrefield and they received good support from defenders Mairead Reynolds and Mairead Moore.
Four minutes into the second half and Longford got a sixth goal when Michelle Farrell converted a penalty. Antrim then were down to 14 when they lost a player to the sin bin after a heavy challenge on Mairead Moore that led to her being replaced.
Soon after Longford got goal number seven while Antrim’s first score did not materialise until the 47th minute; such was Longford’s dominance throughout this completely one-sided contest.
Dromard’s Aedin Mimnagh did well when she was brought on and scored two points in quick succession.
Longford had two players sin binned late on in the second half when substitutes Ailbhe McGowan and Catriona O’Hara were both shown yellow cards. It mattered little as Antrim could only add another point to their score and Longford ended up winning by a staggering 39 points.
Longford are at home to Louth on Sunday next (12 noon) at the Clonbonny grounds, Lanesboro and they will be hoping to put in another fine display in their quest to claim the Division 4 title and earn promotion.
LONGFORD: Michelle Kilkenny; Sinead Hughes, Leanne Keegan, Mairead Moore; Emer Heaney, Mairead Reynolds, Catriona Moore; Jacinta Brady (0-1), Aisling Reynolds (2-4); Aisling McCormack (0-2), Michelle Farrell (1-3, goal from penalty), Aisling O’Hara (0-2); Sarah Tierney (2-1), Aisling Greene (2-2), Aoife Darcy (0-3).
Subs:- Ailbhe McGowan, Aedin Mimnagh (0-2), Ellie Columb, Aine O’Reilly, Niamh Darcy, Sarah Shannon, Oonagh Shanley, Aodhnait Casey, Shauna McCormack, Catriona O’Hara, Aine Barry, Megan Lynn.