Ciara Healy (left) from Newtowncashel, the captain of the victorious Mercy Ballymahon SS U-16 ladies football team, pictured with Petrina Carrigy (Grattans) and the Leinster 'B' Cup. Pic: D Gilmore
Eight points behind in the early stages of the second half and looking in big trouble, Mercy Ballymahon SS U-16 ladies came storming back to beat Moate CS in a drama packed Leinster Junior ‘B’ Football Championship Final at the Tubberclair grounds on Friday.
Lidl Ladies Football Leinster Post-Primary Schools Junior (U-16) ‘B’ Championship Final
Mercy Ballymahon Secondary School . . . . 5-8 Moate Community School . . . . 3-11
Trailing by 1-8 to 1-4 at the break, Ballymahon SS (badly hit by the absence of injured key forwards Sarah Dillon and Ciara Foxe) appeared to have suffered a severe setback when Moate Community School scored a second goal with six minutes gone on the changeover.
But a great comeback gradually materialised, inspired by excellent attacker Clodagh Lohan who scored 3-1 in a thrilling second half to swing the issue in favour of the south Longford school who can now look forward to the All-Ireland Junior ‘B’ semi-final on Monday March 20.
It was a tremendous overall performance by the Ballymahon SS girls with Zoe Guinnane scoring the other two goals (one in each half) for the new Leinster ‘B’ champions.
MERCY BALLYMAHON SECONDARY SCHOOL: Blathnaid McDonagh (Ballymahon/Forgney); Caoimhe Lohan (Grattans), Roisin Leen (Grattans), Sinead O’Neill (Ballymahon/Forgney); Rebecca O’Kane (Grattans), Clodagh Dillon (Milltown, Westmeath), Muirinn Claffey (Ballymahon/Forgney); Petrina Carrigy (Grattans, 0-1), Aisling McCormack (Ballymahon/Forgney); Ciara Mulligan (Carrickedmond), Ciara Healy (Rathcline, 0-5, three frees), Clodagh Lohan (Grattans, 3-1); Donna Hannafin (Ballymahon/Forgney), Zoe Guinnane (Tang, 2-0), Julieann Moran (Carrickedmond).
Subs:- Sophie Hogan (Grattans, 0-1) for D Hannafin (27 mins); Zoe Gallagher (Rathcline) for J Moran (38 mins).
MOATE COMMUNITY SCHOOL: Fiona Fox; Emily McCabe, Annemarie Moran, Therese Robbins; Ruth Martin, Therese Geoghegan, Emma Kelly; Roisin Ennis, Aine Gaynor; Maria O’Donohue (1-1), Leah Quigley (0-6, two frees), Sinead Robbins (0-2); Hazel Hughes, Aoife Dalton (2-2), Ailbhe Sheridan.
Sub:- Niamh O’Reilly for H Hughes (38 mins).
Referee: Niall McCormack (Laois).
Full report and pictures in next week’s Longford Leader, on sale Wednesday