Cork and Kerry to contest Ladies Div 1 final

Cork and Kerry to contest Ladies Div 1 final

It will be a Munster derby clash in the Suzuki National League Division 1 after Cork and Kerry saw off opposition from Armagh and Galway in Sunday’s semi finals.

Kerry’s recent lack of competitive action proved no barrier to victory as the Kingdom qualified for their first National League final in five years with a well-deserved victory over Galway at an extremely windy Cooraclare.

Kerry played with the aid of the considerable breeze and by the twelfth minute they were well into their stride putting a goal and three points on board.
The goal was scored by Ciara O Sullivan of Na Gael. Galway had to finish the first half with players after Rebecca Fenlan was sin binned for hefty challenges, the second of which resulted in a Kerry penalty that was neatly tucked away by Teresa Dennehy. By half time Kerry had a healthy 2-9 to 0-2 lead.

The second half saw an admirable Galway fight back.
Aided by the stiff breeze Galway wasted no time cutting into the Kerry lead and kicked four unanswered points in the first nine minutes including a fine effort from Galway midfielder Annette Clarke.
By the fifteenth minute the lead was further reduced with the excellent Annette Clarke and her midfield partner Catriona Clerkin on the mark.

The Galway onslaught continued and by the twenty-fourth minute Kerry’s advantage was down to five points thanks to a fine score from corner forward Niamh Fahy.

Ciara O Sullivan then steadied the Kerry ship with a twenty sixth minute point to leave Kerry leading by 2-10 to 0-11.

The remaining 10 minutes saw some all out defending from Kerry and with a minute to go, and the lead down to three points, came the defining moment of the match. Galway corner forward Niamh Fahy collected possession and shot at goal.

The ball went through the legs of Kerry keeper Lisa Driscoll but she made a fine recovery to turn quickly, gather possession and prevent the Tribeswomen from grabbing a draw. The game finished on a scoreline of 2-10 to 0-13.

In the other semi final, Cork cruised to the decider with a devastating display against a lacklustre Armagh outfit in Cretyard County Laois.

Windy conditions aided the Cork effort in the first half and with all their star players performing, they accumulated a healthy 2-8 to 0-4 lead by half time.
The first goal was scored by Valerie Mulcahey and subsequent strikes from Laura McMahon ensured Cork were well on their way to victory going into the half time break.

The strong wind was not enough to spark a second half Armagh revival and Amy O’ Shea goal followed by a second strike by the excellent Valerie Mulcahey ensured that there was no way back for Armagh.

Corks top scorer was the aforementioned Valerie Mulcahey who contributed 2-3. Best for Armagh were Eileen Mathews and Alma O Donnell.

It will be a Kerry-Cork show down on May Bank holiday weekend (date and venue yet to be decided). It will be a huge occasion for Cork manager Jim Mckevoy who has reached a National final in his first year in charge.

Kerry are undefeated through the league but manager Robby Griffen will have to have his charges performing to the peak of their abilities if they are to beat Cork, the current All Ireland Champions.

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