Aisling Cosgrove pictured in action for Longford against Offaly in the recent TG4 Leinster Ladies Football Intermediate Championship group stage game at O'Connor Park, Tullamore. Photo: Syl Healy
Despite the tough task against Meath in the Leinster Ladies Football Intermediate Championship semi-final, Longford manager James Daly knows what his side have to do if they are to advance to the provincial title decider against Wexford or Offaly.
Meath are the visitors to Glennon Brothers Pearse Park this Sunday (throw-in 2.30pm). Last year Longford played in the Junior Championship while Meath were competing in the Senior Championship. After a few disappointing years Meath regraded to Intermediate for 2017.
Daly said: “Meath are strong and the girls know they are playing against a real good team. We know that if we don’t put in a good performance we are going to be out of the race for the Leinster title, it’s as simple as that.”
For Daly and his players it’s a bonus to have a home game but they have only played once in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park this year. “To be honest it’s not that big of a benefit because we have only played in Pearse Park on one occasion this season. It’s nice to have the game in Longford and it’s good for anyone that wants to come and support the girls,” said Daly.
Longford suffered their first competitive defeat of the year against Offaly in the group stage of the Leinster Championship and both Daly and his players were disappointed with how the game materialised.
“We were without two major players; Leanne Keegan and Sarah Tierney. It was not that we went in against Offaly and thought it was a foregone conclusion; Louth beat Offaly in the previous round but we knew Offaly were missing players that day. We had chances in stoppage time to snatch a draw but we will move on from that defeat.”
At training a couple of days later, both management and players spoke about the loss but that setback is now firmly behind them and they are looking forward to the semi-final on Sunday.
“We had a positive training session on the Tuesday after the Offaly game and had a good talk. Training is going well and the girls are buzzing now for the match against Meath,” stated the Longford manager.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s Leinster semi-final Daly is well aware of the threat that Meath will pose but he is not worrying about them; getting Longford ready is all that matters to the Armagh native. “Sometimes the less you know about a team the better; you learn on your feet. Yes, I will have a few Meath girls highlighted but I’m not big into video, all that stuff. We will focus on our game and getting that right,” concluded the quietly confident Daly.