09 Aug 2022

Longford ladies football success: Brilliant Ballymore win the Leinster Junior club title

2020 Leinster Junior Club Championship Final

longford ladies football

Delighted Ballymore captain Marie Martin pictured with the Leinster Junior Club C'ship Cup following the win over Kilmore (Wexford) in the final at O'Moore Park on Wednesday evening

A brilliant display from the Ballymore ladies yielded a memorable win over Wexford opponents Kilmore in the Covid delayed 2020 Leinster Junior Club Championship Final at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise on Wednesday evening. 

Ballymore . . . 2-19      Kilmore (Wexford) . . . 1-11  

There was little between the sides in the opening 10 minutes with the Wexford side leading by 0-3 to 0-2; the Ballymore points coming from Aisling Reynolds (free) and Fiona Gettings.

A fourth free from the boot of Maria Byrne put Kilmore ahead by two in the 13th minute and they extended that lead to five in the 15th minute with a goal from Lauren Cousins.

But that was to be Kilmore’s last score of the first half as Ballymore upped their game and turned a five point deficit into a five point lead going in at the break.

Four frees from Aisling Reynolds cut the gap to one by the 25th minute. Two minutes later she levelled matters.  Ballymore went ahead for the first time seconds later when Emer Heaney did great work before coolly slotting the ball past Kilmore keeper Kate O’Reilly for a crucial goal.

Kilmore tried to get scores but Ballymore defended in numbers. A lovely point from Heaney and a seventh free from the excellent Aisling Reynolds (winner of the player of the match award) gave the Longford side a 1-9 to 1-4 lead at the break.

Maria Byrne hit over the first point of the second half inside the opening 20 seconds; her fifth free and Kilmore’s first score since the 15th minute. The sides then exchanged points as Kilmore tried to close the gap and Byrne’s free in the 41st minute brought the Wexford side to within two of Ballymore but that was the closest they were to get.

In the 42nd minute Kilmore lost Grace Cardiff who received a yellow card.  Ballymore made good use of numerical advantage and grabbed a second goal in the 49th minute through Fiona Gettings.

The Longford Intermediate champions then scored three points in a row to stretch the lead to nine by the 54th minute and while Kilmore got consolation scores, Ballymore ended the game with points from Heaney (two) and Reynolds (two frees).

BALLYMORE: Mary Kiernan; Shauna Heaney, Deirdre Monaghan, Ciara Kelly; Sarah Smyth, Sorcha Dawson, Avril Wilson; Fiona Gettings (1-4), Aisling Reynolds (0-10,10f); Rachel Cassidy, Caroline Kiernan, Aoife Dawson; Alanna Burns, Emer Heaney (1-5), Marie Martin.

KILMORE:  Kate O’Reilly; Katie Bates, Kelsea Morris, Emily Bates; Sharon Kehoe Cloney, Grace Cardiff, Majella Byrne; Niamh Moore, Emma Cousins; Sophie Boxwell (0-1), Lauren Cousins (1-0), Ellie O’Connor (0-1); Cathy O’Connor, Maria Byrne (0-6, 6f), Ciara Codd (0-1). 

Subs:- Lisa Power (0-1) for E O’Connor (37 mins); Mary-Anne Sheehan for K Bates (50 mins); Johanna Cousins (0-1) for C Codd (54 mins).

Referee: Kelley Cunningham (Offaly).

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