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Longford Set For Semi-Final Battle!   13/06/2018

Longford may have secured their division three status this Spring, but the players won’t have taken a lot of satisfaction from a league campaign that saw them secure a home draw against Offaly and a walkover victory against Leitrim. Understandably, that’s not the positive story that Longford captain Mairéad Moore was hoping to take out of the competition.

“It was disappointing enough,” said the Clonguish player, though she went on to explain how better times could lie ahead for the county as they prepare to get their TG4 Leinster Intermediate club championship campaign underway. “We lost a good few players from last year after winning division four. We thought at the start of the year we might build on that but a good few players left the panel and we are like a team in transition at the moment”.

“That said, we have young players coming. The U-16’s won a Leinster title and hopefully in a few years’ time they will break into the team we have at the moment and raise the standard. Those of us who are around a bit longer, it’s our job to keep things going until the younger girls from teams like that are ready to come on board”.

Now in the midst of her tenth campaign with the county, Moore has seen enough to know that if things fall right on the day, anything can happen in a do-or-die championship situation, even if her team will start as big outsiders against Wicklow.

“We have a few girls coming back now after college exams, hopefully for the championship they will improve things, I’ve no doubt they will” she said.

“Wicklow enjoyed a great league campaign, topping the division and getting to a final, so of course they’re in a good place, but anything can happen on any given day we are just hoping that we will put everything we have into that semi-final. They are very strong as we have seen in the league finals, we will just try work hard that day, get past that day and hopefully get through to the final”.

Yet while she remains positive about the team’s chances of an upset, it’s clear that the important thing for Moore and for this Longford group is to make sure that after winning the junior All Ireland in 2016, that they don’t lose their place in the intermediate ranks.  

“We will just take every game as we can and try not to think about relegation, try and stay up in the intermediate championship. We don't want to go down, it's nothing against the junior championship, but we are trying to progress and this is the standard we need to be at”.

“There is a lot of work, you’re training three or four times a week you don't expect anything out of it. We’re just in it to win games, to get together as a group and to represent our county as well as we can. We really do enjoy it and right now it’s just about trying to encourage girls to come back in now and be part of this Longford team. If we can pull off a surprise or two in this championship, starting with a win over Wicklow to get to a Leinster final, then we’re certainly going in the right direction”.

Longford will get their Intermediate Championship underway this coming Sunday at 2pm in Pearse Park against Wicklow where both teams will vie for a position in the Leinster Intermediate Final on July 1st.