Glory for Laois –Heartbreak for Kerry. By Fr. Liam Kelleher.

Glory for Laois –Heartbreak for Kerry. By Fr. Liam Kelleher. Laois 2-10 Kerry 2-09.

In an absorbing game of football, which ebbed and flowed like the tide, Laois came with a late late, last gasp effort, to snatch the spoils from a gallant Kerry team. In the Suzuki Div League Final at Cusack Park Every neutral, felt a tinge of sympathy, for the young Kerry girls after a shaky start they overcame the apparent jitters of inexperience, to be very firmly in the driving seat with 10 minutes to go. They led by 2 points after missing a penalty and at least 4 genuine scoring chances in that period. Then it was announced that there would be at least a minutes injury time, that minute lasted all of 3 minutes and 13 seconds. In that time Laois came back from the dead with 3 unanswered points, the last a magnificent effort from Sue Ramsbottom from all of 45 metres out on the wing, with the last kick of the game apart form the Kerry kick out.

Certainly Munster could have done with her kicking abilities on Saturday, she certainly was the heroine in fashioning a result, when nobody would have minded if the game ended in a draw. Credit Laois whose never say die attitude got them out of jail, in their own way they let many chances slip at various times in the game and particularly after halftime when playing with the strong elements, they jumped into a goal lead after 10 minutes and looked set for facile win. Kerry without a championship win in 10 years and with 11 All-Irelands and 11 league titles to their credit, many at the expense of Laois, gave credible evidence that they are ready to return to their glory days. With the experience of Capt Geraldine O’Shea and the skill commitment and tenacity of the young players they must make a bold bid for Championship honours, Tentative start. The game started off slowly, for the first quarter, at the end of which both sides were level on 2 points a piece. Laois then enjoyed a period of dominance and raced into a four point lead, when Kathleen O’Reilly had scored a point and then cut through the heart of the Kerry defence, parted to Martha Kirwan who hit the net.

Kerry to their credit fought back well and with points from O’Shea and extremely classy, Casey O’Driscoll and they were deservedly level a the break and it was all to play for. After the break Kerry got the tonic they needed when Patrice Dennehy had a fine goal, this seemed to sting Laois with the strong wind enjoyed a period of dominance and quickly opened a 2 point gap with points from Ramsbottom and Tracy Lawlor and a goal from Mary Kirwan, at that stage the Kingdom girls looked beaten, but they proved they were made of sterner stuff. The hesitancy that marked their earlier play vanished, they fought for every ball, ran at the Laois defence and the rest was nearly history for them. The fleet footwork of Shari Delaney netted her a goal with 13 minutes to go and Laois rarely advanced beyond midfield for the next 10 minutes, In that fateful time, Kerry missed a succession of chances, including 4 frees and a penalty from O’Shea. Deirdre Corriden who played for Kerry the day before in the Munster under 16 final ,also had a couple of chances for points. Time was almost up with Kerry going on the back foot defending in droves, with O’Shea going right back to the full line to help out, Laois struck for those late match winning points both from frees from Kirwan and Ramsbottom. One felt particularly sorry for Kerry capt Geraldine O’Shea who had a magnificent game, but it was not to be for them on this occasion. Kerry will have learned much from this defeat and perhaps in time, when they will undoubtedly achieve again, they will look back on this day as the day Kerry ladies Football returned to credibility after 10 years in the wilderness, an eternity in a football mad county.

Laois showed that they are back to their All-Ireland winning form of 2001 and will have renewed confidence in facing into a tricky Leinster campaign. But with 2 teams qualifying from each province with the introduction of the backdoor system this year, they should be odds on, to make it through. The new format will add that extra bit of spice to the TG4 Championship and if proves to be as exciting as the Suzuki league then we are in for a long thrilling Summer. It was a wonderful advert for the game to have it televised live by TG4 and when General Manager Niall O’Gorman, presented Laois capt Mary Keohe with the cup and the player of the match award to Kathleen O’Reilly, one could sense with the smile of satisfaction on his face, that they would be back again next year. There was an extra dimension to the occasion when at the dinner after the game Niall presented Chief Executive Helen 0’Rourke, President Geraldine Giles and Fixtures Secretary Ita Hannon with a boquet of flowers for the wonderful work they had done during the campaign. Both Niall and and PR supremo for Suzuki, Jim Goss, were loud in their praise of the success of the Suzuki National League and again that surely augurs well for next year.

: Bernie Deegan, Patricia Fogarty, Mags Phelan, Sarah Cuddy, Angela Casey, Grainne Dunne, Mary Casey, Katheleen O’Reilly 0-01 Tracy Lawlor 0-03, Sue Ramsbottom 0-02, Linda Brennan, Mary Kehoe 0-01 Mary Kirwan 1-03 Laura Buggy, Martha Kirwan 1-00 Angela Connolly Lulu Carroll, Anna Walsh, Alison O’ Reilly, Martha Kirwan, Emer Fitzpatrick, Grace Weston, Gemma O’ Connor, Sharon Moylan, Louise Delaney, Lisa Dunne, Noreen Kirwan, Aileen O’ Loughlin

Kerry: Andre O’Donoghue, Grainne Ni Flaharta, Katie Gleeson, Jackie Murnane, Riona Ni Chinnide, Sara O’Connor 0-01 Laura Ross, Evelyn O’Connell, Caroline Kelly, Katie Kenneally, Patrice Dennehy 1-00 Mairead Finnegan, Shari Delaney 1-01 Geraldine O’Shea 0-03 Casey O Driscoll 0-04. Eilish O’Connor, Anne Marie O’Shea, Catherine Sexton, Louise McCarthy, Denise Shanahan, Deirdre Corriden, Deirdre Dennehy, Linda McCarthy, Cliona Murphy, Neasa Ni Shuilleabhain, Deirdre Fenton, Fleur Wynn Morgan, Noreen Fealy.

The Suzuki Division 2 Final between Cork and Roscommon takes place at Cusack Park in Ennis on Sunday May 11th at 1.30pm The Division 3 Final, at the same venue takes place the same day at 3-15pm

Fr. Liam Kelleher PRO 087-8516984 021-4886128 Email: Or

Sign up to our email newsletter


Partners & Supporters





See all LGFAClubs