Emer Heaney pictured in action for the Longford ladies.
Longford produced a fantastic performance as they hammered a poor Louth outfit at the Mullahoran grounds on Sunday last and now face another All-Ireland Intermediate Championship relegation play-off against Limerick.
Longford . . . 5-25 Louth . . . 1-6
A win for Longford over Limerick in Banagher this Sunday (3pm) will see the midlanders retain their Intermediate Championship status for next year, and they will be strongly fancied to achieve that target, but a defeat will send them back down to the Junior grade.
Credit to the ground staff of Mullahoran GAA for the condition of the pitch; heavy rain and several games over the last week had left the pitch in need of repair but it was alright for this game.
After conceding a rather unfortunate goal in the 2nd minute Longford took control of the game shortly after and Louth’s defence couldn’t handle Longford’s forward line with the impressive Michelle Farrell a constant threat.
Aisling Greene was also immense in scoring three goals, with Aoife Darcy and Anna McDonnell others to play a notable part in the easy win, while wing-back Emer Heaney produced a great display.
Longford took the lead in the 5th minute when Michelle Farrell set up Aisling Greene for her first goal. One minute later Greene got her second and then in the 7th minute her Clonguish club-mate Aoife Darcy grabbed a goal.
Louth could only kick over a point as Longford were dominant. Aisling Greene, Aisling Reynolds, Michelle Farrell and Jacinta Brady landed neat points to put Longford ahead by 14 points by the 15th minute.
Greene got her side’s fourth goal and her third in the 17th minute as Louth were ran ragged by Longford’s pace. Farrell fired over three more points while Louth got two points before the break but it was all over as a contest as they trailed by 18 points, 4-13 to 1-4.
Longford didn’t let up with the scoring in the second half with Aisling Greene and Emer Heaney kicking over points early on the changeover. Aoife Byrne pointed for Louth but Longford hit back with further scores from Greene, Heaney and Aoife Darcy.
Michelle Farrell scored a terrific point in the 50th minute and manager James Daly made changes which allowed Heaney to get up the field more and in the 54th minute her fine performance was rewarded with a goal.
She followed that up with a point before Anna McDonnell got her name on the scoresheet. Louth had a few chances to get scores in the second half but were wasteful in front of the posts; kicking some poor wides from frees.
Ciara O’Connor kicked over Louth’s final point of the game in the 59th minute but Longford still had time to add to their tally with Michelle Farrell kicking over her 10th and 11th points as Longford had the massive margin of 31 points to spare in this very one-sided contest.
LONGFORD: Michelle Kilkenny (Dromard); Megan Lynn (Mostrim), Mairead Moore (Clonguish), Aisling Cosgrove (Longford Slashers); Emer Heaney (Ballymore, 1-4), Mairead Reynolds (Dromard), Niamh Darcy (Clonguish); Aisling McCormack (Ballymahon/Forgney), Jacinta Brady (Killoe, 0-1); Anna McDonnell (Killoe, 0-1), Michelle Farrell (Colmcille, 0-11,1f); Aisling O’Hara (St Helen’s Drumlish); Aoife Darcy (Clonguish, 1-2), Aisling Reynolds (Ballymore, 0-3), Aisling Greene (Clonguish, 3-3).
Subs:- Leanne Keegan (Mostrim) for M Lynn and Imelda Reynolds (Dromard) for A Reynolds (half-time); Michelle Noonan (Carrickedmond) for N Darcy (43 mins); Monica Bannon (Carrickedmond) for M Kilkenny (46 mins); Ailbhe McGowan (Clonguish) for A McCormack (46 mins).
LOUTH: Una Pearson; Michelle McArdle, Pamela Campbell, Ruth Hanna; Abbi O’Connor, Ceire Nolan, Shannon McLoughlin; Aoife Byrne (0-1), Sinead Woods; Paula Murray (0-3,1f), Ciara O’Connor (0-1), Ciara Woods (0-1); Susan Byrne (1-0), Katie Wynne, Catherine McGlew.
Subs used:- Rebecca Howell, Kellie Hughes, Grainne Murray, Christine Carolan and Sinead McGuill.
Referee: Brendan Rice (Down).