KERRY booked their place in their very first camogie All Ireland Final last Saturday, with a gusty display of Camogie against a strong Westmeath team.
Kerry 4-8 Westmeath 2-9
Mcdonagh Park, Nenagh was the venue, with a 12.30 throw in. Norann Gilbert replaced the injured Kerri O'shea. Westmeath set the pace with some fast moving of the ball, and Kerry were struggling with the physicality and speed of the game, which saw Westmeath go two points up without reply and were unlucky not to have put two goals away.
However, switching Sara Murphy to centre and then full forward made a big difference with Patrice Diggin shoring up the centre back position. Moving Alanna Maunsell to centre forward also proved vital as her workrate, passing, and running off the ball was immense. Patrice Diggin on free taking duty got Kerry on the scoreboard and after 15 mins it was 0-5 to 0-2 in favour of Westmeath.
A goal by Westmeath left it 1-5 to 0-2 and looking ominious for Kerry, but a high ball was sent into Sara Murphy and she buried it. A free by Patrice Diggin lobbed in over the keeper's head and suddenly Kerry's tails were up and playing with a strong breeze, used the space well, and with Sara Murphy receiving a peach of a pass from Alanna Maunsell, rattled the Westmeath net again. Suddenly it was all Kerry, and with points from Patrice Diggin and Sara Murphy, at half-time it was Kerry 2-5 Westmeath 1-5.
The second half saw Westmeath score a well taken point from pacy corner forward Nicola Fagan, who was starting to make life difficult for Kerry's backline, but the ever reliable Aoife Fitzgerald held her up and cleared her lines well.
The physicality of the game started to increase with some heavy knocks on both sides, and when Sara Murphy rattled the net in the 45th minute, Kerry were looking that bit the better team. However, Westmeath didn't come to lose and with well taken frees, came to within a point of Kerry with sixminutes remaining.
This is where the resolve of this young team was going to be tested, but they stood their ground, played some wonderful Camogie and when substitute Megan Weir goaled from some great passing of the ball from Jessica Fitzell, a huge sigh was heard around Mcdonagh Park. Daylight again between the teams, and a pointed free from Sara Murphy whose jersey was pulled as she wheeled away from her marker, left four between the sides.
Down the pitch came Westmeath again, but were thwarted by some excellent defensive work by Niamh Leen, Siomha Ni Dheasmhunaigh, and tireless work by Aine O'connor saw Westmeath's last chance of a score go wide, before referee Liz Dempsey blew the final whisle. Relief, Joy, and tears were all evident as these girls became the first team in the history of Camogie in Kerry to now play in an All Ireland Final on May 5 against Down. Kerry panel: Isabel O'connor, Norann Gilbert, Aoife Fitzgerald, Saidbhe Horgan, Niamh Leen, Sara Murphy, Aine O'connor, Siomah Ni Dheasmhunaigh, Annmarie Leen, Orla Young, Patrice Diggin, Eirne Ni Dheasmhunaigh, Jessica Fitzell, Alanna Maunsell, Julianne O'keefe, Megan Weir, Melissa Dineen, Lorraine Hobbert, Louise Hobbert, Lorraine Keane, Fiona Waltz, Kerri O'shea
Under 16 and a half quarterfinal: Cillard 1-4 Ballyagran 1-4. Played in Abbeyfeale last Thursday, the replay has yet to be fixed at the time of going to print.
Under 16 B Semi-final: Causeway v Knockaderry. This is fixed for this Thursday at 6.30pm in Knockaderry.
Under 12 Go Games: Causeway, Cillard and Listowel have commenced at this grade and again we wish Listowel the best of luck with their first venture into the go games world.
THE Under 14 Feile took place last Sunday in Causeway and with a strong breeze Cillard capitalised with the opening point.
Two quick goals, along with a goal from the Causeway puckout saw Cillard go in at the break 3-1 to 0-0 with Cillard's Norette Casey and Neasa Mcgarthy in scoring form. Causeway with the aid of the breeze had two goals scored in under five minutes, from the hard working Claire Murphy.
A well taken pointed free from corner forward Aoife O'connor, saw the wind back in the Causeway sails. However, goals win matches, and it wasn't to be Causeway's day, as Cillard with a pointed free in the second half won this tie on a scoreline of 32 to 2-1.
Round 2 takes place this Sunday in Kilmoyley at a time to be decided. Well done to both teams on a good game of Camogie. The Under 14 Limerick league continues this week with both Causeway and Cillard in action against Kileedy and Newcastlewest.
CLANMAURICE continue their winning streak with another fine performance against Cappamore last Sunday in Round 7 of the league winning on a scoreline of 2-17 to 0-4. Ruth Wallace, Michelle Corridan Sinead Mccrohan and Olivia Dineen among the scorers, with Annmarie Leen on free taking duty.
Again, credit to the dual players who lined out with their football clubs in the morning and made the long trip to Murroe Boher GAA pitch that evening to line out with the Camogie club. Lixnaw Camogie Club are up and running again, and it's great to see another adult club with a juvenile section in action over the coming months.