Under-16 footballers edged out by Cork in Munster final
Munster Ladies U-16 football final
Kerry lost by four points to Cork in the MLGFA Under-16 Championship final played in Austin Stack Park Tralee on Saturday last.
Six wides early in the first half cost Kerry dearly as all of 15 minutes went by before Cork opened the scoring with two quick points at the end of the first quarter. Cork goalkeeper Olivia Cahill was the busiest player on the pitch in that first quarter as Kerry went at Cork with all guns blazing.
The visitors were red hot favourites going into the game but this didn't put the home side off as they fought for every ball with determination and passion. Kerry finally broke through the Cork defence with a well worked goal involving three players and Erin Finucane then crashed the ball to the Cork net on the 21st minute, Cork replied with everything they had but Kerry held firm with captain Orla Randals operating from full back and playing a captains role kept the Cork attackers at bay and Eilish Kavanagh then gave the home side a two-point advantage with a well taken effort with five remaining in the first half.
Cork starting to apply the pressure and with two remaining in the half Cork found a a breech in the Kerry defence and Katie O'Keefe made no mistake as she drilled it low to the Kerry net and in the closing minute Emir Scully added a point for the visitors giving them a two-point advantage at the short whistle. Cork went in at half time leading 1-3 to 1-1.
Cork began the second half with the wind to their backs and took the game to Kerry. Kerry keeper Melissa Holland was forced to make two excellent saves and this was followed by four wides from Cork. But then in the sixth minute Megan O'Connor who had a superb game for Kerry charged through the Cork defence and scored Kerry's second goal to put Kerry ahead by a point. The home side put another point between themselves and the Rebels as Savannah McCarthy pointed a minute later. The Rebels reply was swift and fatal as Cork kept attacking and in the 14th minute Katie O'Keffe breached the Kerry defence for Corks second goal and Cork now lead by one.
Cork's Katie Lanigan pointed in the twentieth minute to put Cork two up and Savannah McCarthy skimmed the Cork crossbar with a fine point for Kerry to reduce the deficit back to one and with minutes remaining it was anyone's game as Cork hit the upright with a shot at goal and from the rebound Katie Lonigan put it over as Cork restored the two-point advantage.
Eilish Kavanagh cut the lead to just two points in the closing five minutes, but it was Cork that finished the stronger as they added three more points to run ot winners by four points.
On the day Cork got the fright of their lives from a well organised well trained Kerry outfit, that have improved massively from the start of the season. All the Kerry girls were superb on the day and can be proud of their performances .also well done to the management team of Tim Kennelly, Chris Flannery, Maurice McNamara and Angela Griffin who had them so well prepared.
The Kerry Ladies Board would like to thank Weeshie Lynch and the Austin Stacks Park committee for the use of their facility and many thanks also to the ground staff for their help on the day.
Kerry: Melissa Holland, Gemma Teehan, Orla Randals, Danika O'Grady, Sara Murphy, Aislinn O' Connell, Jane Carmody, Tina Mangan, Kate Dennehy, Savanna McCarthy, Eilish O'Leary, Andrea Murphy, Megan O'Connor, Erin Finucane, Eilish Kavanagh.
Subs: Catriona Horgan, Ellen Winters, Emma O'Sullivan, Martina Downey, Clodagh Quinlan, Shannon O'Shea, Edel Slattery, Saibh Fitzjerald, Denise Burns, Chloe Hawker, Norma O'Mahoney, Christine Cooper, Shannon O'Leary. Meadbh Horgan, Katie Moriarty.
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