This coming Sunday, the Longford Ladies side take to the big stage when they provide the curtain raiser to the All-Ireland U21 football final as they take on Limerick in the final of the Division 4 Football League at Tullamore.
With a 12 noon throw in time, this meeting was always a foregone conclusion from the outset as the Longford girls made no secret of their ambition to reach the final stages of the competition.
The same analogy could also be said of their opponents, who have been knocking on the door of All-Ireland junior success for some time. Last year , Limerick fell just short, finishing runners up to Westmeath in the corresponding fixture, an outcome they are no doubt keen to make up for 12 months on.
When the sides met earlier in the competition, the midlanders held the upper hand, finishing with a comfortable eight point winning margin. This Sunday’s encounter promises to be somewhat of a different affair with the prize of being crowned league champions at stake.
Longford will be looking for big performances from the likes of Sharon Treacy, Lauren Farrell and Lizzy Brady in defence while the midfield pairing of Jacinta Brady and probably Claire Greene will have their work cut out to supply meaningful ball to forwards Edel Quinn, Ann Marie Bratten and Sarah Tierney.
That trio will also have to deal with a tenacious Limerick backline headed by Joanne Gorman, Emma McGuire and Carla Sheehy. These girls will not be lacking in their determination to cut out any danger that may arise while midfielders Niamh Richardson and Caroline Hickey may prove stubborn opposition to Brady and Green in the all-important midfield. Should Limerick get the upper hand in this department and deliver plenty of ball to All-Star Dymhna O’Brien and wing forwards Sarah Downey and Claire O’Riordan, Longford could be in for a very long afternoon indeed.
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