Claire Farrell pictured in action for Longford against Sligo in the opening round of the Ladies Football All-Ireland Intermediate Championship at the Strokestown GAA grounds on July 15. Pic: Syl Healy
Longford lost to Down in the first of the All-Ireland Intermediate Championship Relegation play-offs at the Inniskeen GAA grounds, Co Monaghan on Saturday last.
Down . . . 4-9 Longford . . . 2-5
There is still hope for the Longford ladies to avoid the drop to the Junior grade in 2019 with a last chance against Fermanagh at Sheelin Park, Ballymachugh, Co Cavan this Saturday, throw-in 1pm.
Longford went into the game against Down minus seven of their starting team, six of whom were on holidays while Emer Heaney was ruled out due to injury.
This was a huge task for the midlanders with manager Paddy Dowd working with a small panel of players all year. But the girls in blue and gold were courageous in producing a great team performance, despite fielding a much understrength team.
Great credit must go to each and every girl who wore their county jersey with pride on Saturday and Longford will be hoping for a win against Fermanagh who lost to Offaly in the other relegation play-off last weekend.
With their full panel available for this make or break match, Longford might be good enough to beat Fermanagh in the battle to retain Intermediate status for next season.
Longford panel v Down: Michelle Kilkenny, Aine Barry, Leanne Keegan, Ailish Noonan, Aisling Cosgrove, Claire Farrell, Niamh Darcy, Mairead Reynolds, Michelle Farrell, Tonicha Lee, Eimear O'Brien, Niamh Feeney, Rian McGrath, Sarah Reynolds, Monica Bannon, Imelda Reynolds, Michelle McManus, Laura McManus.