Longwood 7-11 Na Fianna (Kildare) 3-6
On another historic day for Longwood LGFA, our U15 team won the inaugural inter county Meath / Kildare Tournament Shield Final.
Battle began on a very warm Saturday morning in Johnstownbridge. The Longwood girls avenged a previous defeat in the best way possible against a very strong Na Fianna side.
As soon as the whistle blew Longwood burst into life and attacked the Na Fianna goal. Fine interplay from Lauren Murray and Millie Rose put Aoife O’Shea into space to execute a fine finish and raise the first green flag of the day. The feat was quickly repeated with a second goal from Aoife 3 minutes later. Na Fianna recovered with a goal of their own, but Longwood responded with points from Caoimhe, Lauren, Millie Rose and Katie to maintain the advantage.
As the temperature rose, Na Fianna pushed the Longwood defence to its the limits. However our full back line of Millie C and Katie B were excellent in resolutely defending against the onslaught. The water break signalled some changes for Longwood where Amy Coules and Ava Beere gave some added impetus to the Longwood attack. As the break approached Longwood raised the green flag on another two occasions with clinical finishes from Tiger O’Sullivan and Millie Rose.
Despite having a comfortable lead, there was plenty still to do to achieve our ultimate goal. Na Fianna started the second half excellently with a goal in the first minute of the half and without the cat like emreflexes of Aishling in goal it would surely have been more. The momentum was clearly moving in favour of Na Fianna until our dynamic wing backs of Amy Brady and Ella “the Rash” O’Donnell added pressure on their counterparts by overturning numerous balls, breaking up field to set up scores for Molly and Millie Rose.
Longwood continued to expose the wings, with an incredible performance put in by Hanna, setting up another goal for the irrepressible Millie Rose to extend the Longwood lead. Na Fianna, to their credit never gave up, continuously probing through their midfielders and half forward line, however Roisin. “The Rock” Harvey was impervious in the centre back position, ably marshalling all around her to ensure no further goals were conceded.
However Longwood could smell blood now, (or ice cream), with abbey collecting the the ball off the Longwood goal line, driving up field, to lay the ball on for Izzy, her excellent through ball to Katie “the hatchet” O’Sullivan ensured the trophy was coming back to Longwood.
The final whistle signalled large celebrations by players and fans alike, to bring down the curtain on a fine under 15 campaign with another trophy.
The game was an exhibition of football, with stellar performances from both teams.
A special mention must go to our Meath development contingent of Ashling, Caoimhe, Lauren and Aoife, who despite playing a game in the sweltering heat, a quick change and an ice cream, and they were on their way again to represent Meath in Kells.
Congratulations to all the girls and best of luck in your future campaigns in u14,16,18 and seniors, you are a credit to your families, friends and Longwood.
Final Score Longwood 7-11 to Na Fianna 3-6
Report: Stephen King