Fealy the toast of Abbeydorney


Fealy the toast of Abbeydorney

AIB All-Ireland Junior Ladies Club Championship


Abbeydorney 5-9 Inniskeen (Monaghan) 3-8 By Cóilín

It was the one Kerry Ladies Football had been waiting
for, when Abbeydorney brought the Ladies All-Ireland
Junior Club title back to the Kingdom for the first
time since Beaufort in 1997 with an excellent display
of guts and determination to see off the challenge
of Monaghan’s Inniskeen, most famed for the poet
Patrick Kavanagh on Sunday last at St. Brendan’s
Park in Birr Co. Offaly.


simply were poetry in motion and especially
during the second half when full-forward Noreen
Fealy ran rings around the Inniskeen defence
and gave a huge display as good as any this
scribe has seen in either Men’s or Ladies
Football. Fealy who scored 3-7 was fittingly
awarded the AIB Player of the Match after
the game and this was testament to both her
work during the game and the support she received
from her colleagues who constantly backed
her up throughout. 

But this game was far from a one woman show
with all the Abbeydorney 15 proving consistent
right through the game. Fealy opened the scoring
within a minute with a point for Abbeydorney
before four minutes later Inniskeen’s opening
score came after a great catch by their captain
Voureen Quigley who turned and shot from ten
yards to the back of the Abbeydorney net.
This may have seemed to be an early blow to
the black and amber sides chances but they
gave a firm answer when from the kickout they
worked the ball upfield and Noreen Fealy rounded
the goalkeeper and slithered the ball to the
back of the net to gave her side a narrow
one point lead which she extended to two points
soon after having converted a free.


of the match Noreen Fealy

Inniskeen then went in search of a score with midfielder
Imelda Smyth sending a long ball in but as Abbeydorney
were to do for most of the game their defence worked
well and they cleared their lines. Inniskeen then
went within a point of the Kerry and Munster champions
after Rachel Rice sent over her first point of the
game in the tenth minute. Abbeydorney then had a
let off when a Kathriona Byrne free came off the
post before Noreen Fealy continued to punish the
Inniskeen defence adding her third point from play.

Very little separated the sides and with eleven
minutes remaining Rachel Rice added another point
to the Inniskeen tally to leave the minimum between
the sides once again. Another Inniskeen chance for
a score came off the post before they went into
a two point lead with their second goal coming from
the boot of Aisling McGeeney in the 24th minute.
A Noreen Fealy free kept Abbeydorney in touch and
a minute later Lisa Brick opened her account when
she crashed through the Inniskeen defence and went
on a great run eventually getting one on one with
the Monaghan goalkeeper and she slotted the ball
to the net. 2-4 to 2-2 with 27 minutes gone into
the half.

The countdown clock was in full use for this encounter
and it indicated that there were seven minutes left
in the half plenty of time for Abbeydorney to extend
their lead at the break but it was Inniskeen who
were to make the inroads and the sides were level
at the break. As the clock entered the final minute
the Monaghan side went within one point of the Kerry
girls through Voureen Quigley and 40 seconds later
they levelled the game through Kathriona Byrne with
the hooter sounding from the kickout 2-4 a piece
at half-time.

Abbeydorney were far the better side in the second
half and by the ninth minute had added four points
through Denise Shanahan, Noreen Fealy (2) and Eimear
McElligott most of which were blasting efforts from
close range. Inniskeen were trying to exert some
dominance but each attack was countered by Abbeydorney.
The Monaghan girls eventually broke free and they
shot their opening second half score in the thirteenth
minute when Rachel Rice pointed her third point
of the day to narrow the gap to just a goal 2-8
to 2-5. Abbeydorney went in search of a goal and
their first effort which came from Eimear McElligott
was well saved by Karen Quigley before Abbeydorney
shot a hat trick of goals in the space of four minutes.
First up was Sinead Bunyan after a long ball had
been sent in from McElligott she passed to Bunyan
who had no problems in fisting the ball past the
Inniskeen goalkeeper. Take two and Abbeydorney were
at it again this time with scorer-in-chief Noreen
Fealy blasting to the net and again Fealy added
her third goal of the game soon after with the contest
now turning into a rout at 5-8 to 2-5.

Fealy extended the lead to thirteen points with
a 23rd minute pointed free but this was to be her
sides final score of the game as Inniskeen dominated
the closing ten minutes or so of play which followed.
Rachel Rice added another point to her sides tally
before Kathriona Byrne pointed two frees but it
was a case of to little too late for the Inniskeen
girls who did gain some consolation as right on
the stroke of the full-time hooter they managed
a goal from Rachel Rice to leave them seven points
in arrears at the finish but a well deserved victory
for the Abbeydorney girls and their loyal band of
supporters who set off for Birr from early morning
and came in their droves to witness a famous victory
for a great GAA club.

After the game Geraldine Giles Uachtaran Cumann
Peil Gael na mBan presented victorious captain Breda
Slattery with the All-Ireland Junior Cup among rapturous
celebrations while sponsors AIB presented Noreen
Fealy with a well merited Player of the Match award.
No doubt the celebrations in Abbeydorney will continue
for quite sometime yet.

Abbeydorney: Catherine Collins; Breda Slattery
(Capt), Helen McKenna, Caitriona O’Connor; Deirdre
O’Mahony, Catherine Sexton, Claire Concannon; Edel
O’Connell, Denise Shanahan (0-1); Laura O’Mahony,
Eimear McElligott (0-1), Michelle Leen; Sinead Bunyan
(1-0), Noreen Fealy (3-7, 0-4 frees), Lisa Brick
Subs: 20 for Sinead Bunyan (53 mins), Mary
Roche for Catherine Collins (63 mins).
Inniskeen: Karen Quigley; Amanda McArdle,
Aine Quigley, Siobhan Casey; Linda Callan, Josie
Fitzpatrick, Edel Kieran; Imelda Smyth, Isobel Kieran;
Rachel Rice (1-4), Kathriona Byrne (0-3, 0-2 frees),
Linda McGahan; Carol McGahan, Voureen Quigley (Capt)
(1-1), Aisling McGeeney (1-0).
Subs: Martina Quigley for Aisling McGeeney
(32 mins), Mairead McGahan for Aine Quigley (HT),
Laura Kelly for Edel Kieran (49 mins).
Referee: Peter Daly (Westmeath)



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