Final heartbreak for London

Longford player Jacinta Brady breaks away from London player Shona Brady

Longford . . . . . . 3-11

London . . . . . … 1-6

By Padraig O’Brien

London’s ladies put up a fierce battle but could not prevent Longford from retaining the Leinster Intermediate title as The Exiles finished 11 points behind The Slashers at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday.

Saturday saw London’s males bow out of the All-Ireland football championship to Cavan and their female counterparts will aim to do better when they take on Cavan in their next championship game on August 10.

Despite what he score-line may suggest, London didn’t let Longford have it all their own way and in the first half especially they really put it up to their opponents; scoring a goal and creating a few goal chances but they were denied on two occasions before the break by Longford keeper Michelle Kilkenny.

Michelle Farrell had opened the scoring for Longford but a point from Caroline Benson and a goal from Sinead McCooey put London ahead in the 8th minute.

Longford responded very well and in the 10th minute Sharon Treacy scored a great goal to restore her team’s lead.

Another Farrell point edged them in front by two but two successive London points levelled the score on 17 minutes. Farrell was then on target twice to give Longford the lead but in the 23rd minute they were reduced to 14 players when Jacinta Brady was sin binned.

Longford soon extended their lead to three with a fifth Farrell point in the 24th minute but this was followed by London using their numerical advantage to create two goal chances. In the 27th minute, Shona Barry blasted her effort wide when she really should have scored. Two minutes later Kilkenny pulled off a fantastic double save to deny McCooey and then Barry.

It was in stoppage time at the end of the first period that Longford stretched their lead to 6 points when Farrell dispatched a penalty after Elizabeth Brady was fouled.

The London panel pictured before the Leinster Ladies Intermediate Football final

Longford started the second half well with substitute Anna McDonnell forcing London keeper Maria King into making a save in the 31st minute. It was early in the second period that London would be hit by injury woe when Renee Murphy left the action after damaging her hamstring.

The first score of the half didn’t come until the 43rd minute through wing-back Louise Monaghan. Claire Greene was quick to add to this. After going 31 minutes without a score London got a point in the 48th minute through captain Hannah Noonan. The inspirational Parnells midfielder would also answer another Greene point with a well hit free.

Longford added further scores in additional time; through Farrell, Greene and an Orla Noonan goal. McCooey got the final score of the game for London as Longford now look forward to a quarter final in just over two weeks’ time.

London captain Hannah Noonan said: “The score-line doesn’t reflect the game which is the most annoying thing. We held it to them for most of the game and then let some stupid goals in which kind of killed us.

For the full match report, see the August 3 print edition of The Irish World.

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