2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Division 2 Under 11 Final

Division 2 Under 11 Final 31st Oct 09
Kildangan Nurney 2:06 Leixlip 2:03

This under 11 Division 2 final was a ding dong affair between two very fit and determined teams.
Kildangan Nurney started best and aided by a stiff breeze, the midfield pairing of Úna Higgins and Sabrina Kennedy kept a plentiful supply in to the Kildangan Nurney forwards. The first score of the game on eight minutes, a goal by Aine Merrins came as the result of a jinky run down the right wing by Lauren Kelly, who picked out Aine with a pin point pass. Leixlip Keeper Mairead Dolan had no chance with the shot which was hit low and hard to her right. Minutes later another well worked goal by Eilish Lambert put Kildangan Nurney two to the good. Lambert added a point to her tally when an Aine Merrins pass found her in space with just the keeper to beat.
Leixlip opened their account on 15 minutes when number 10 Niamh Rodgers got free from her marker Emily Connaughton to score a magnificent point. Leixlip looked dangerous on the attack, however the Kildangan Nurney backline, anchored by centre back Charlotte Scully proved equal to the task, as time after time Leixlip attacks were snuffed out by a dogged defence. Kildangan Nurney added another point through Lauren Kelly, Leixlip replied with a point from a free by midfielder Saoirse Sunderland, leaving the half time score 2 goals and 2 points to 2 points in favour of the southerners.
On the resumption Leixlip were on fire, the spark a goal by Saoirse Sunderland. When Leixlip scored a second goal to draw level, Kildangan Nurney looked to be in trouble. Both sides were doing their best to gain an advantage, the football fast furious, end to end stuff. The next score would be critical and with Leixlip applying the pressure, it looked to be just a matter of time before Kildangan Nurney would succumb.
The Kildangan Nurney backline of Emily Cains, Norah Jane Prendergast and Orla O’Donovan were playing like girls possessed, Charlotte Scully also to the fore in keeping the game alive. The score when it did come was as a result of an interception by Charlotte, who soloed down the wing, before giving the pass to Katie Nealon, who drew a foul from the Leixlip defence. Lauren Kelly made no mistake from the free and Kildangan Nurney were once more in front. This was just the tonic they needed, from the resultant kick out Sabrina Kennedy won the ball, beat a couple of Leixlip defenders and looked to have the match sealed when she hit a terrific shot at goal from point blank range, only for Leixlip goalkeeper Mairead Dolan to bring off the save of the match. Kildangan Nurney moved up a gear, adding points from Lauren Kelly and Eilish Lambert to secure a three point win.
Kildangan Nurneys character told in the end as they took some vital scores to end Leixlip’s second half surge. Both teams played their hearts out and deserve full credit for a game played in a very sporting manner. Leixlip in defeat gave much to an exciting final with star performers full back Ciara Ferris, and midfielders Anne Fitzmaurice and Saoirse Sunderland. Special mention goes to Leixlip goalie Mairead Dolan who saved their bacon on a number of occasions,
Perhaps it’s unfair to single out individuals in what was very much a team performance, however for Kildangan Nurney, midfielders Sabrina Kennedy and Úna Higgins were to the fore, with Lauren Kelly the perennial thorn in the side of the Leixlip defence. The Kildangan Nurney defenders as a unit were excellent, especially when the pressure came on in the second half.
Kildangan Nurney:Jackie Berns, Nora Jane Prendergast, Emily Cains, Orla O’Donovan, Emily Connaughton, Charlotte Scully, Chelsea Doyle, Úna Higgins, Sabrina Kennedy, Aine Merrins, Lauren Kelly, Shauna Bond, Katie Nealon, Eilish Lambert, Gemma Merrins.

Subs: Sarah Walsh, Chloe Carroll.

Referee Emma McCartney.

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