Thursday, August 11th will always be remembered with fondness in Longwood LGFA and the wider community given that it marked our club’s very first adult championship campaign. Our young club has made enormous strides in it’s short existence and with the numbers of girls playing football increasing every year, the future certainly looks bright.
To see a panel of nearly 30 players togged out in the Longwood jersey must have given Darragh Maguire, and all who helped establish the club, enormous pride.
The significance of the game drew a huge crowd to the club grounds, and they were treated to a highly entertaining game of football.
Showing no signs of nerves, Longwood hit the ground running, their opening attack culminating with Ashling Ennis blasting the ball to the St Ultan’s net. Barely ten seconds on the clock; dreamland!
St Ultan’s settled into the game and notched a couple of points before Longwood registered another over, courtesy of the always dangerous Millie Rose Russell. Longwood’s twin threat of Ennis and Russell caused all sorts of problems for the opposing defence throughout the contest, their direct running drawing persistent fouls, much to the frustration of the home support.
St Ultan’s greater experience started to show, and they scored two goals before the half-time break, the second goal was particularly fortuitous given that it was a long-range effort for a point that crept just underneath the crossbar.
A pair of Ashling Ennis frees kept the home team in touch and they trailed by just two points at the break, on a scoreline of 1-4 to 2-3.
The second half started in very similar fashion to the opening period, with Longwood scoring early, this time a point from the unerring boot of Millie Rose Russell.
A goal and a point from St Ultan’s pushed their lead out to five points and the crowd became understandably anxious. But the players responded in style and despite a few crucial wides, they dominated the remainder of the contest.
The midfield pairing of Louise Codd and Aoife Maguire, two quality players, demonstrated tremendous leadership as they drove at the opposition at every opportunity. Codd kicked two long-range frees, inspirational scores that seemed to lift every player in a white jersey.
Two more frees from Ashling Ennis brought the deficit down to a single point with a couple of minutes to go but, try as they might, Longwood could not find the elusive equalising score. The game ended with St Ultan’s breaking upfield and kicking an insurance point.
Not the result the girls and their management team will have been looking for but there were many positives to be taken from the game. They are sure to have learned much and we look forward to following their progress through the upcoming rounds.
Maigh Dearmhaí abú!
Longwood: Millie Cunningham, Miriam Barron, Laura Maguire, Ciara Maguire, Lauren Murray, Ericka Peciuzyte, Róisín Harvey, Louise Codd (0-2), Aoife Maguire, Ciara Shields, Gill Buggle (0-1), Caragh King, Millie Rose Russell (0-3), Diane McQuaid, Ashling Ennis (1-4). Subs: Fiona Brady for Ericka Peciuzyte, Rachel Lally, Alannah Feerick, Nicole O’Callaghan, Gemma Sweeney, Ella O’Donnell, Abbie Wang, Anna O’Hare, Ella Butler, Meghan Campbell, Jayde Courtney, Jessica Brennan, Sarah Monaghan, Sarah Hendley, Lola Mabinuori, Ursula McManus, Jessica Coules