Monday 21 October 2019

Morrissey finding her feet on main stage

Danielle Morrissey. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Danielle Morrissey. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Daragh Ó Conchúir

Danielle Morrissey only turns 19 next month, but the first-year health science student at WIT is already in her third season on a Kilkenny squad bidding for a fourth consecutive Littlewoods Ireland Division 1 league title against Galway at Croke Park tomorrow (12.0).

It was impossible to ignore the Conahy Shamrocks prodigy as she soared through the ranks and it said much that when Ann Downey and her brains trust needed extra numbers for in-house games prior to the All-Ireland final in 2016, she got the nod.

Morrissey clearly made a major impact and within a few months the precocious scoring machine had broken up the All-Ireland-winning forward division.

Such was the trust in her temperament that she was given the free-taking responsibilities too and the fifth-year student was on the scoresheet as Kilkenny beat Cork in the league decider.

A few months later, she started the All-Ireland final but the Rebels took the honours. Even then, she was aware of what it meant to wear the black and amber on such a stage and alongside so many players she had looked up to.

"There are no cliques. Everyone gets on with everyone," affirms Morrissey.

"You go in to train and you train hard, and you go home happy. I'm finding my feet this year a bit more."

While she ended 2017 by scoring 3-11 of 4-18 as Conahy annexed the junior county title, Morrissey suffered a little from the dreaded second-season syndrome last year, when she had the Leaving Cert to contend with too.

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Losing a second All-Ireland final in 12 months by a point last September was a bitter pill to swallow.

"It took longer than the year before to get over. It is two years in a row losing by a point. This and that and the other could have went right. It's parked now and it's a new year. All we can do is go forward. This year, hopefully we can do one better."

Kilkenny have impressed thus far. Morrissey's own positioning can vary and not always of the sideline's volition.

"I do be slipping in and out of corner-forward to the wing. We've a bit freedom this year. Go out and hurl and don't be afraid to make mistakes."

Galway are well warned of her talents and intent.

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