The Longford team celebrate their All-Ireland junior title win. Donall Farmer/INPHO
Comeback Queens

Longford hit 4 goals and recover from 9 point deficit to win All-Ireland title against Antrim

A first title since 1997 for Longford at Croke Park today.

Longford 4-10
Antrim 1-12

Jackie Cahill reports from Croke Park

A SECOND HALF goal glut sealed a first TG4 All-Ireland junior ladies football title since 1997 for Michael Bohan’s Longford team at Croke Park this afternoon.

Midfielder Jacinta Brady claimed the player of the match award as the Midlanders ended a 19-year wait for national silverware.

In a quite incredible game, Longford overturned a nine-point half-time deficit to win with seven to spare.

Seven minutes before half-time, Longford trailed by 1-8t to 0-2 but three unanswered points before the break kept Bohan’s charges in touch, down by 1-8 to 0-5.

The second half was superb from a Longford viewpoint as substitutes Aoife Darcy and Aisling Reynolds made big scoring impacts.

Bohan ran his bench early – three subs introduced in the first half and another at the break.

Ultimately, it was a run of 3-8 without reply that ensured West County Hotel Cup glory for Longford – as they tagged on an unanswered 3-5 after the interval.

Mairead Reynolds Longford captain Mairéad Reynolds lifts the trophy Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Antrim went without a score from the 23rd minute until 12 minutes from time as Longford ran riot.

Brady’s 34th minute goal sparked the revival but Longford’s next two goals had more than a hint of good fortune about them.

The approach work was excellent, however, but Emer Heaney’s 36th minute goal was deflected into the net by back-tracking Sarah Haughey.

And two minutes later, Darcy’s shot was deflected in by Antrim wing-back Eleanor Mallon.

Ann Marie Bratton and Aisling Green celebrate Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

As Longford continued to press, they were eight points clear when Orla Noonan fired over a fine point in the 42nd minute – a score that represented a massive 17-point turnaround when their first half deficit is taken into account.

It appeared that Antrim were on their way to a third junior title win in eight seasons when they stormed into that big first half lead.

Claire Timoney banged home a super goal in the 12th minute to rock Longford back on their heels and it appeared that Longford were out of luck before half-time when Heaney’s shot struck the crossbar.

But they were rewarded with a sparkling second half display and Aishling Greene’s goal with six minutes remaining was the icing on the cake for electric Longford.

Aisling McFarland with Jacinta Brady Antrim's Aisling McFarland tries to block down Longford's Jacinta Brady. Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Scorers for Longford: Aisling Reynolds 0-5 (1f), Jacinta Brady, Aishling Greene & Aoife Darcy 1-1 each, Emer Heaney 1-0, Orla Noonan & Laura Burke 0-1 each.

Scorers for Antrim: Clare Timoney 1-3 (0-2f), Eimear Gallagher 0-4 (1f), Mairead Cooper & Mairíosa McGourty 0-2 each, Áine Devlin 0-1.

Clare Timoney scores the first goal Clare Timoney struck Antrim's goal Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO


1.  Michelle Kilkenny (Dromard)

2. Sinéad Hughes (St Helen’s)
3. Leanne Keegan (Mostrim)
4. Maeve O’Reilly (Colmcille)

5. Claire Farrell (Longford Slashers)
6. Eimear Dooley (Ballymahon/Forgney)
7. Mairéad Moore (Clonguish)

8. Jacinta Brady (Killoe)
9. Mairéad Reynolds (captain) (Dromard)

10. Claire Delaney (Ballymahon/Forgney)
11. Orla Noonan (St Helen’s)
12. Ann Marie Bratton (Killoe)

13. Aishling Greene (Clonguish)
14. Emer Heaney (Ballymore)
15. Laura Burke (St Helen’s)


25. Michelle Noonan (Carrickedmond) for O’Reilly (15)
23. Aoife Darcy (Clonguish) for Delaney (20)
24. Aisling Reynolds (Ballymore) for Burke (23)
27. Michelle Farrell (Colmcille) for Dooley (h.t.)
22. Ann Duffy (Rathcline) for Moore (53).


1. Christine Drain (St Bridgid’s)

2. Saoirse Tennyson (St Paul’s)
3. Emma Kelly (St Paul’s)
4. Sarah Haughey (St Gall’s)

5. Eleanor Mallon (St Ergnat’s)
6. Stephanie Cochrane (St Gall’s)
7. Jenny McCavana (captain) (St Gall’s)

8. Cathy Carey (St Ergnat’s)
9. Deirdre O’Kane (St Ergnat’s)

10. Mairéad Cooper (St Paul’s)
11. Clare Timoney (Bredagh)
12. Mairíosa McGourty (St Gall’s)

13. Aislinn McFarland (Bredagh)
14. Eimear Gallagher (St Gall’s)
15. Áine Devlin (St Ergnat’s)


26. Áine Tubridy (St Paul’s) for O’Kane (32)
16. Anna McCann (St Ergnat’s) for Drain (43)
20. Chloe Dahunsi (St Paul’s) for E Kelly (48)
18. Nicole Kelly (St Paul’s) for Cochrane (53)
21. Meabh McCurdy (St Gall’s) for McGourty (55).

Referee: J Murphy (Carlow).

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