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Longford 5:12 Fermanagh 0:5

Bord Gáis Energy round 4.
Ladies National football league
(Genieve Reilly Longford PRO)

Longford 5:12 Fermanagh 0:5. (1.3.09)

Longford’s disappointing start to the Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League was comprehensively quashed with a fine, well-deserved victory over Fermanagh on Sunday last.

The games opening seven minutes saw the Longford Ladies setting themselves up for victory, scoring 3:3 on the trot before Fermanagh could so much as muster their first attack. A confident Longford outfit found niche after niche in the Fermanagh defence, their running style of play completely bewildering the defence. The second half saw a much tighter game, and Fermanagh will rue many a missed opportunity. Longford will take many positives from the game, in particular holding a strong Fermanagh team to just two points in the second half while constantly pushing their own advantage. Longford’s keeper Michelle Kilkenny made three superb saves on the day, ensuring a well-deserved victory margin for the Mid landers.

The game also saw the return of last years midfield dynamo Alison Smyth, a further confidence boost for Longford as they prepare to face Down at home next Sunday.

The game couldn’t have started better for Longford. The opening move saw Anna McDonnell brought to ground by the Fermanagh keeper, with the referee having no option but to award Longford a penalty. Denise Murtagh scoring the resulting goal, the Fermanagh keeper helpless against the powerful shot. The keeper would be again taking the ball from her net merely seconds later, Michelle Hannify at the end of the move that would add Longford’s second goal in as many moves. Longford’s aspirations were clear from this early stage with Adrianna Melia fielding superbly from the backline, providing the stimlus for the attacks. Denise Murtagh, Marie Brady and Michelle Hannify each added a point before Melia would again be the source of Longford’s next attack which ended in a goal for Anna McDonnell. Six minutes gone on the clock, Longford leading by 3:3 and Fermanagh yet to move the ball into opposition territory. Longford were unlucky not to have a fourth goal moments later, Eimear Dooley again stretching the Fermanagh defense. Fermanagh finally opened their scoring on eight minutes with a nicely taken point. This did not deter the home side and they added a fourth goal, the ever alert Michelle Ross intercepting a poor kickout and exerting maximum punishment. Anna McDonnell added another point, with Edel Quinn and Denise Murtagh crucial in giving McDonnell the space to add to her earlier goal. Both Longford and Fermanagh would exchange wides, before an eight minutes stalemate would be ended with Carrickedmond teammates Ross and Hannify linking up for a fine point. Half-back Donna Leavy would be the next to step up to point for her side, a richly deserved point as Leavy was instrumental in many Longford attacks. Michelle Ross and Denise Murtagh finished off Longford’s first half scoring, seeing Longford with an impressive first half tally of 4:7 in comparison to Fermanagh with 0:3.

The second half saw an opening point from Denise Murtagh, a well-struck free. Fermanagh would prove a much stronger task in the second half, a looping free kick was well saved by Michelle Kilkenny. Fermanagh would have to make do with a point fisted over the bar from close range. Kilkenny would again be in action, making a point blank save as Fermanagh found their way through the Longford defense. Defenders Mairead Moore and Marie Brady were key in protecting the lead Longford had worked so hard to build up, Moore in particular was very impressive in the second half of the game. At the other end of the field Michelle Hannify and instrumental captain Elizabeth Brady both added scores. Hannify was proving very troublesome for the Fermanagh defenses, an exilerating run from Ross, Brady and Quinn saw Hannify hitting the blackspot and the same player moments previous was very unlucky not to add a further goal to scores. Points from Michelle Ross, Edel Quinn and a goal from Una Flynn finished off the game for Longford. Fermanagh on the other hand would only add another point.

Final Score Longford 5:12 Fermanagh 0:5.

Longford: Michelle Kilkenny, Mairead Moore, Antoinette Brady, Adrianna Melia, Marie Brady (0:1), Yvonne Barden, Donna Leavy (0:1), Elizabeth Brady (c) (0:1), Siobhan McGowan, Michelle Ross (1:3), Edel Quinn (0:1), Eimear Dooley, Michelle Hannify (1:2), Denise Murtagh (1:2, 2f), Anna McDonnell (1:1). Subs Used: Alice Magan for E. Dooley, Catherine Lynch for Y. Barden Una Flynn (1:0) for A. McDonnell, Alison Smyth for S. McGowan, Mary Kiernan for D. Murtagh, Fiona Farrell for M. Ross.

Fermanagh: Sarah Stewart, Eimear Keane, Kyla McManus, Claire Woods, Claire Smyth, Orla Reehil (c), Roisin Carron, Aisling Moone, Shauna Hamilton, Adele Gallagher, Aisling McCaughey, Aine McBrien, Aileen Moane, Donna Maguire, Shireen Greene.

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