Wednesday 25 April 2018

Rampant Rebels put Kingdom back in their place with big win

Lorraine Scanlon
Lorraine Scanlon

HAS the rebellion finally been put down?

For all the recent near misses and narrow victories over Cork this was one of those bad days that Kerry fans will remember for a long time. It was almost 2009 all over again when Cork racked up 6-15 to Kerry's 0-9.

Heading into the game Kerry had the experience needed to match Cork, they had performed reasonably well in the championship to date and they were at home but it was to be a dark afternoon for ladies football in the county.

Kerry made five changes from the starting line-up revealed to all at Rathmore and while patrons and media struggled to keep up with the changes, William O'Sullivan's side struggled to keep up to Cork's early onslaught as they opened a 0-4 to 0-0 lead within the first seven minutes.

Despite struggling in all departments early on, Kerry showed a stubborn streak and were rewarded with a brilliantly taken 8th minute goal by Patrice Dennehy who benefited from a driving run by Louise Galvin.

Kerry, despite giving up the next two scores to Cork, looked like they had weathered the hurricane by the 20th minute as Cork led 0-7 to 1-1. They had stopped Cork opening them up but just as they looked like they were getting a foothold in the contest, a moment of madness in the Kerry defence left Emma Farmer in for a goal and just four minutes later Briege Corkery stuck again for Cork.

Kerry responded with points from Dennehy, Ni Muirceartaigh and Quirke (2) leaving the half time score very much in the rebels favour 2-8 to 1-5.

Kerry introduced Lorraine Scanlon and Deirdre Corridan at the break and enjoyed some early success and pulled the game back to just three points after Galvin, Corridan and Ni Muirceartaigh all raised white flags.

However, this was as close as they were going to get as Cork simply over ran the Kerry defence and hit 4-2 in a matter of just seven minutes. Mulcahy was gifted a 37th minute goal, Farmer lobbed Edel Murphy a minute later as the defence Kerry looked shell shocked. Kearney added a goal on the 43rd with Farmer completing her hat trick a minute later. It was turning embarrassing especially when Cork's corner back Brid Stack was left travel the field to score a point.

The scoreboard had Cork ahead 6-10 to 1-9 with 15 minutes remaining as the packed stand began empty somewhat. All of a sudden, people were searching for records and looking for Kerry's biggest defeat. Deirdre Corridan, Louise Galvin and Bernie Breen showed some defiant spirit and Corridan was rewarded with a goal on the 49th minute but it was only a consolation on a day that Kerry will want to forget as all the Kingdom's dreams turned into nothing but a nightmare.

Kerry will now head the scenic route and Ulster or Leinster teams most likely to stand in their way in Round 2 before a date with a provincial winner mostly likely Armagh, Galway or Dublin in Round 3. Based on this recent performance overcoming any of those teams may well prove questionable.

Kerry: Edel Murphy, Aoife Lyons, Aisling Leonard, Gina Crowley, Maria Quirke 0-3, Denise Hallissey, Caroline Kelly, Emma Sherwood, Bernie Breen 0-1, Cait Lynch, Megan O'Connell, Patrice Dennehy 1-1, Sarah Houlihan 0-1, Louise Galvin 0-1, Louise Ni Muircerataigh 0-3. Subs: Deirdre Corridan 1-1 for Cait Lynch (H/T), Lorraine Scanlon for Megan O'Connell (H/T), Aislinn Desmond for Quirke (40), Cassandra Buckley for Houlihan (49)

Cork: Martina O'Brien, Roisin Phelan, Angela Walsh, Brid Stack 0-1, Vera Foley, Deirdre O'Reilly, Geraldine Flynn 0-3 (0-2F), Rena Buckley, Briege Corkery (1-2), Annie Walsh, Ciara O'Sullivan 0-2, Orlagh Farmer, Valerie Mulcahy 1-5, Grace Kearney 1-0, Emma Farmer 3-0. Subs: Eimear Scally for Mulcahy (48), Aisling Barrett for O'Reilly (48), AM Walsh for Stack (51)