TWENTY-EIGHT counties descended on the capital on Saturday last for a weekend of top class camogie as a prelude to the finals in Croke Park on Sunday.
The Kerry team were based in Innifails GAA club in Malahide and Monaghan provided the first opposition.
A physical battle with Kerry having to shake off the early start in order to overcome this resilient side. Orla Hussey had to be alert in the Kerry goal with some great stops early on, but Rachel McCarthy started the scores for Kerry and held out for a one point win, courtesy of a pointed free from Nessa McGarty on a score line of 2-5 to 3-1.
This was followed up by meeting Louth. The Kerry girls started brightly and some great ball into the forward line saw Aoife O'Connor convert her second goal of the day. Great work by Clodagh Walsh, and Emma Lawlor who mopped up all the loose ball in the back line, with Rachel Breen and Aoife Behan taking care of midfield. Kerry ran out winners on a scoreline of 6-6 to 1-1.
Next up was Mayo in the semi finals and it took a huge effort from Rachel Burke, Erin Donnelly and Orlaith Casey who were tirless throughout. Kerry came out on top on a scoreline of 2-4 to 2-2. In the Final Kerry met Carlow, who were fresh from their break of over 40 minutes before the game. Tiredness crept into the Kerry game and with Carlow's half forward line in control were 11 to 0-0 at half-time.
In the second half Kerry battled hard, but Carlow were that bit sharper and it finished 2-2 to 0-0. Great credit is due to the panel of 26 girls, who gave it everything and can be very proud of reaching their first All Ireland Final.
To the coaches, Eoin Lawlor and Ger McCarthy who guided them to the final, thank you for your time and commitment to this squad. Also to Kieran Dineen who worked with the panel all year.
Our thanks to the club for facilitating us, to the 26 girls who got their first taste of serious Inter County action in a Kerry jersey. From this squad, the U16 county coaches will be looking to replenish the current set up, and judging by what was on display, competition for places for next year, is very apparant already. KERRY: Aoife O'Connor, Emma Lawlor, Megan Casey Lawlor, Eilish Harrington, Rachel Breen, Clodagh Walsh, Triona Curran, Aoife Behan, Kate Austen O'Sullivan, Rachel Burke, Nessa McGarty, Kate Stack, Rachel McCarthy, Orla Hussey, Orlaith Casey, Aoife Godley, Niamh Rid, Elizebeth Meehan, Katie Fitzgerald, Clodagh Begley, Marianne Nolan, Chloe O'Halloran, Rachel Griffin, Kerri Daly, Erin Donnelly U14 CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINALS Cillard 0-5 Ballybrown 0-1 PLAYED in Croagh last week, as the scoreline suggests this was a tough battle for the girls with rain and wind playing their part in making conditions tricky. However, Cillard prevailed and have hurled their way into the semi-final against a formidable Murroe Boher outfit. Details of this fixture to be announced.
In the second quarterfinal Causeway lost out to Murroe Boher by 5-8 to 0-0. Causeway fielded with an understrength side in Askeaton. While the scoreline may suggest differently, it wasn't all one way traffic, but Causeway just couldn't score despite a number of chances. Having said that, Murroe Boher a club with a wonderful history in camogie located on the Tipperary border, showed that extra bit of power in front of goal and will now face Cillard in the semi final.
FIXTURES SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 U16 Championship A shield semifinal Cillard v Ballybrown 4pm, Abbeyfeale. SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 Intermediate Championship Round 4 Clanmaurice v Knockaderry on Sunday next at 2pm in Knockaderry
B cup semi-final sees Causeway in contention with opposition still unknown at the time of print.
The September County Board meeting this Saturday at 5pm in Stokers Lodge. Listowel will host a puc around town on Sunday, September 30 from 11am -12.30 at the Listowel Emmets GAA club as a follow up to their successful summer camp held in August. Level 1 Coaching courses coming up shortly so keep in touch with your club for further details.
As always tune into Radio Kerry every Saturday at 4.25pm and visit Kerrycamogie.com for the latest updates.