Ladies face Armagh in semi-final

Lidl Ladies NFL: Division 2 Round 5 - Kerry 4-9 Cavan 4-16

PAUL Murphy (PRO)

Cavan came away with the spoils and a place in the semi - final following a seven - point victory over Kerry in Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday. Kerry where already guaranteed a semi-final spot but where eager to finish the campaign on a high.

Cavan started the game brighter and scored the first three points without reply. Points from Aisling Gilsenan, Ashling Maguire and Donna English signalling the intentions of the away side early in the game. Kerry responded swiftly through Louise Ní Mhuireachtaigh. Her attempted shot at a point dropped short deceiving the Cavan keeper Elaine Walsh thus finding its way to the back of the net.

Both sides exchanged points before Kerry raised the green flag for the second time. With Cavan awarded a free at the backs they opted to kick cross field. Hannah O'Donoghue was on hand to intercept and finish to the back of the net. Cavan responded with a point from Donna English before Kerry struck for there third goal midway through the first half.

Louise with her second goal of the afternoon following good work by Emma Dineen and Sarah Houlihan. An excellent score from the left boot of Hannah O'Donoghue extended Kerry's lead to seven points with nine minutes remaining, a lead that could have been slightly more only for some poor handing errors. Conditions did not help this as the ball was difficult to handle on a greasy surface. Cavan would finish the half stronger with a goal from Ashling Sheridan following a strong run by Donna English. With a Cavan free hitting the post Ashling Maguire was on hand to tap over the loose ball reducing Cavan deficit at halftime to three points.

Like the first half Cavan started the stronger Shanise Fitzsimons with a point inside the first minute which was soon followed by a fortuitous goal by Ashling Maguire. That gave the visitors the lead which was soon extended to two points by captain Sinead Green. Like the first half Kerry responded with points from substitute Brid Ryan and frees from Sarah Houlihan and Louise Ni Mhuireachtaigh helped Kerry retake the lead before Ashling Sheridan replied for the visitors to draw the sides level. Kerry struck for there fourth goal 10 minutes into the second half.

Hannah O'Donoghue with her second of the afternoon following good work by Ciara Murphy and Lorraine Scanlon to give the home side a three-point lead. The visitors drew level by the 47th minute with two frees from Maguire and Gilsenan and a point from play from Ashling Maguire. They would stamp their authority on the game soon after.

An Ashling Sheridan goal from play following pressure on the Kerry defence gave Cavan a three-point lead. The lead was soon extended to four, before Sheridan scored her third goal of the afternoon following pressure on the Kerry kickout with six minutes remaining.

With Kerry forced to make substitutions it disrupted their rhythm and with the back to back matches over the last couple of weeks tiredness began to set in on both sides as they cancelled each other out three points apiece for the remainder of the game. Kerry will now play Armagh while Waterford will face Cavan next weekend. Times, Dates and Venues to be confirmed during the week.

Kerry: L Fitzgerald, C O'Brien, K Cronin, E Lynch, T Breen, E Dineen, A O'Connell, L Scanlon, A Brosnan (0-1), S Houlihan (0-1), A Galvin (0-1), C Murphy, M O'Keeffe, L Ní Mhuireachtaigh (2-3, 0-1f), H O'Donoghue (2-1). Subs: B Ryan (0-2) for E Dineen, L Coughlan for E Lynch, M O'Connor for M O'Keeffe, F Tagney for H O'Donoghue, R White for L Fitzgerald, S Murphy for K Cronin.

Cavan: E Walsh, A Maguire (1-4, 0-2f), L Fitzpatrick, S Fitzsimons (0-1), S Green (0-1), S Lynch, N Byrd, M Sheridan, S O'Sullivan, J Moore, D English (0-2), A Gilsenan (0-4, 3f), C Finnegan (0-1), A Sheridan (3-1), G Sheridan (0-1). Subs: A O'Reilly (0-1) for S Fitzsimons.

Referee: K Phelan (Laois)