Saturday 16 December 2017

Ni Mhuircheartaigh denies Mayo at first hurdle

Jackie Cahill

KERRY and Tipperary recorded impressive victories in Round 1 of the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship qualifiers yesterday before the winners received tough Round 2 matches.

All eyes were on Mayo, following their recent reinstatement to the championship, but the Westerners bowed out in their first match as Kerry scored a 0-12 to 1-8 victory in the first match of a double-header in Banagher.

Cora Staunton scored 1-6 for Mayo but it wasn't enough to defeat Kerry, who had a six-point haul from leading scorer Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh.

The first half was closely contested and level five times before the sides went in deadlocked at the interval, 0-5 apiece.

Staunton netted just after the break but Kerry responded in style with a run of six unanswered points to surge 0-11 to 1-5 in front.

That scoring burst provided the platform for victory as Kerry held off a late rally from Mayo to clinch a one-point victory.

In the second game at the Offaly venue, Tipperary produced a brilliant attacking performance to crush Meath by 2-16 to 0-9.

Full-forward Patricia Hickey scored 2-4 while former All Star Edel Hanley kicked seven points for the Premier County.

At half-time, Tipp were eight points clear, 1-8 to 0-3, as Hickey notched 1-4 in the first half.

Elaine Duffy offered some resistance for Meath with a seven-point haul but Hickey's second goal settled this tie midway through the second half.

Tipp's reward is a second-round qualifier meeting with Clare, while Kerry will now play beaten Ulster finalists Armagh.

The remaining second-round ties will see Kildare take on beaten Leinster finalists Laois, with beaten Connacht finalists Sligo facing Tyrone.

Irish Independent

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