Sunday 25 August 2019

Shine hails impact of teen star O'Donoghue

Kerry 3-14 Armagh 2-11

Hannah O'Donoghue of Kerry is presented with her player of the match award by LGFA President Marie Hickey after the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Kerry and Armagh at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photo: Sportsfile
Hannah O'Donoghue of Kerry is presented with her player of the match award by LGFA President Marie Hickey after the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Kerry and Armagh at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photo: Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill

Kerry boss Graham Shine hailed the contribution of teen sensation Hannah O'Donoghue as the Kingdom roared into the last four of the All-Ireland.

Manager Shine worked with O'Donoghue when Kerry won successive All-Ireland U-16 crowns in 2015 and 2016. And he had no worries about handing the Beaufort starlet into a senior debut against Armagh at Nowlan Park.

O'Donoghue delivered a sparkling display before limping off injured late on.

Kerry are awaiting the results of scans conducted on the 16-year-old but are hopeful that their underage Ireland soccer international will be fit to face Dublin in the semi-final on Saturday week.

Shine said: "First senior start today - (but) Hannah's been with me at U-16 for two years.

Underdogs "She's a talent but not only Hannah - we have Jadyn Lucey, Fiadhna Tangney and Labhaoise Walmsley, we have loads of young girls coming up. It's great that we can blend old and young - it's fresh and something different. We'll be underdogs going in against Dublin but that's the way we like it - we have plenty to work on, which is great."

Experienced attacker Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh added 1-3 for the Munster champions as Kerry saw off Armagh by six points.

Shine's Kerry were two points down at half-time, 2-7 to 2-9, but they outscored Armagh by 1-7 to 0-2 in the second half. Kerry were much the better side after the break - and Armagh suffered a blow with 11 minutes left when Niamh Marley was sin-binned.

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While O'Donoghue caught the eye for Kerry, Aimee Mackin was superb for Armagh, particularly in the first half when she rattled home two excellent goals. The Shane O'Neills player went into battle nursing a hand injury but still finished with 2-4. O'Donoghue netted in the tenth minute for Kerry, finishing off good play from the lively Sarah Houlihan and Laura Rogers, and Shine's charges had a 1-3 to 0-0 lead. But Armagh then registered 2-5 without reply. Mackin netted twice in a minute to turn the game on its head.

Anna Galvin drew Kerry level at 2-7 apiece with a 28th-minute goal but Armagh's response was impressive, Aoife McCoy and Lauren McConville establishing a two-point half-time lead.

Sean O'Kane's Armagh were rocked back on their heels just 20 seconds after the restart, as Ní Mhuircheartaigh scored Kerry's third goal. From there until the finish, they would not be caught.

O'Kane said: "I wasn't happy with the refereeing today - but the referee didn't beat us. If anybody wants to see the stats, they can see the stats, the frees were three to one."

Scorers - Kerry: H O'Donoghue 1-4, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 1-3 (1f), S Houlihan 0-4 (2f), A Galvin 1-0, L Scanlon 0-2, E O'Leary 0-1. Armagh: A Mackin 2-4, A McCoy & F McKenna (2f) 0-3 each, L McConville 0-1.

Kerry - L Fitzgerald; E Lynch, A Desmond, A Leonard; C Kelly, C Murphy, S Murphy; L Scanlon, E Sherwood; L Ní Mhuircheartaigh, A Galvin, D Hallissey; S Houlihan, H O'Donoghue, L Rogers. Subs: A O'Connell for S Murphy (37), F Tangney for Rogers (45), E O'Leary for Galvin (52), J Lucey for O'Donoghue (55).

Armagh - K Mallon; S Marley, C McCambridge, M Sheridan; M McGuinness, M Tennyson, S Reel; N Coleman, C O'Hanlon; A Mackin, A McCoy, N Marley; L McConville, B Mackin, F McKenna. Subs: T Grimes for Sheridan (36), N Reel for McGuinness (55), A Donaldson for B Mackin (55).

Ref - J Murphy (Carlow)

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