Leitrim Ladies bid for a place in the U-16 All-Ireland B Championship final came to an end in Mullahoran as Longford proved too strong in last Saturday’s semi-final.
By Philip Rooney
Ladies U-16 All-Ireland B Semi-Final
After getting the better of Roscommon, hopes were high that Leitrim could book a place in the final but from an early stage it was evident that Longford were simply too strong all over the pitch. Playing with the wind in the opening half, Longford struck to effectively end the game as a contest against a Leitrim team who were slow to get out of the blocks.
With the sides level at a point apiece after 10 minutes of play after scores from Longford’s Emma Farrelly and Ailbhe Clancy, Longford struck with three goals in quick succession to leave Leitrim facing a real uphill battle.
Emma Farrelly’s fine strike was quickly followed by an Ashling Reylonds point before Michelle Farrell struck with an excellent individual goal. Leitrim’s misery was compounded when Longford struck for their third goal as everybody missed Claire Farrell’s dangerous delivery and it sailed into the net.
While Leitrim were under of plenty of pressure defensively, they were looking dangerous going forward but unfortunately they were finding it difficult making their advances into Longford’s half count on the scoreboard.
Ailbhe Clancy’s free was cancelled out by an excellent Laura Healy point from a very tight angle. Further chances came and went for Leitrim as they continued to look for a way back in to the contest.
Unfortunately for Leitrim, Longford were much more ruthless in front of goal and they struck with another two goals from Farrell and Keri Harmon in the space of a minute to increase their advantage.
Reylonds & Farrell both pointed to leave 18 points between the sides with just four minutes of the opening half remaining and the situation was looking bleak from a Leitrim perspective.
To their credit, Leitrim finished the half strongly with Laura O’Dowd leading the fight as she pointed twice after Ailbhe Clancy had converted a free. With the last attack of the half Leitrim came agonisingly close to scoring a goal that would have made the task of overhauling the deficit seem slightly more attainable.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.