From Deniese O’Flaherty in Mullahoran
Four second half goals helped Longford clinch the All-Ireland U16 B title with victory over a spirited Waterford in Birr on Wednesday night.
It was a game that ebbed and flowed but Longford took a hold of proceedings midway through the second half and never looked back.
Although Waterford scored two goals in the opening half, it was their keeper Nessa Nic Iomhair who was the busier of the two netminders.
She pulled off an excellent save to deny Lauren McGuire in the eighth minute.
A minute later, she denied McGuire again and in the 10th minute she saved Melissa O’Kane’s effort with her feet as Longford piled on the pressure.
Waterford went ahead by a point in the 11th minute through Aoife Brazil but points from Kamille Burke and Lauren McGuire (2) gave Longford the lead in the 15th minute.
The game changed in Waterford’s favour in a two-minute spell when Aine O’Neill grabbed their first goal and shortly after, Longford goalkeeper Riane McGrath brought down Catherine Hynes and Hayley Phelan dispatched the penalty to put the Déise ahead by five.
Credit to Longford, they ended the half well and outscored Waterford five points to one in the final 10 minutes.
Waterford’s Roise Ni Mhuiri was sin-binned in the 28th minute and a minute later, Melissa O’Kane levelled for Longford.
A free from Phelan gave Waterford a one point lead going in at the break, 2-4 to 0-9.
Longford started the second half brightly and took the lead in the 34th minute but that only lasted for a minute as Waterford broke and Phelan found the back of the net with a great shot.
The Leinster Champions’ response was a goal of their own through Molly Mulvihill.
They kicked two poor wides before Mulvihill grabbed her and her side’s second goal of the game.
Kamille Burke and substitute Caoimhe Mulvey scored late goals as Longford were crowned All-Ireland U16 B Champions.
Scorers: Longford: M Mulvhill 2-02, K Burke 1-03, G Shannon (4fs), L McGuire 0-04 each, E Duggan 1-00, M O’Kane 0-02.
Waterford: H Phelan (1-00pen,2fs) 2-02, A O’Neill (1f) 1-01, E Quirke, A Brazil 0-02 each.
Longford: R McGrath; A Wilson, Ti Alaba, G Kenny; C McCormack, A Donnelly, L Shannon, G Shannon, M O’Kane; E Lynn, L McGuire, S Tully; K Burke, M Mulvihill, K Shannon.
Subs: C McNamara for S Tully (30+2), K McKeon for E Lynn (37), L Valentine for K Shannon (45), E Duggan for L Shannon (54), C Mulvey for G Kenny (57)
Waterford: N Nic Iomhair; M O’Grady, E Gough, R Jones; R Ni Mhuiri, G Nugent, E O’Neill; E, B McMaugh; H Phelan, E Quirke, C Hynes; C Walsh, A O’Neill, A Brazil.
Subs: K Kilgrew for R Jones (38), Maeve Sheridan for C Walsh (42), D Fitzgerald for M O’Grady & M Keogh for C Hynes (57), S O’Brien for A Brazil (60)
Referee: N McCormack (Laois)Tweet