Kildare make name at senior level with victory over Kerry


Ladies Football N.F.L Div. 1 Kildare 1-16
Kerry 0-16
By Alan Bell P.R.O Kildare Ladies Football


On a biting cold spring day in Kildimo, Co.
Limerick. Kildare ladies may have raised more
than a few eye-brows around the country by
registering their first win in the N.F.L Div.
1 over last years All-Ireland semi finalists.
It was the Lilies that settled quickest, taking
the first score after four minutes when Aisling
Holton made a driving run up the middle drawing
a foul which Elaine Dillon converted. 

A minute later Noelle Earley pointed from
play to extend Kildare’s lead. But the kingdom
hadn’t travelled to make up the numbers, and
two quick Katie Kinneally points squared matter.
A clever Tracy Noone free to Brianne Leahy
and an Elaine Dillon free kick edged Kildare
two points ahead. But Shari Delaney replied
with a point from play and a Geraldine O’Shea
free levelled for Kerry on the fifteen minute


captain Katie Gleeson, Michael O’Connor
(Limerick) and Noelle Earley Kildare captain
for the day.

this point the game was being played at a frightening
pace and it must be said, Kildare were dictating
same. Noelle Earley was causing untold problems
for Katie Gleeson at full forward and two blatant
fouls on the Kildare captain on eighteen and twenty
minutes resulted in Elaine Dillon putting Kildare
six points to four ahead. Both sides were guilty
of missing good scoring chances by now, but Kerry
hit a purple patch for the last ten minutes of
the half with the pick of the scores being points
by Delaney, Kinneally and O’Shea and a superbly
worked fifty by Katie Kinneally.

Were it not for some staunch defending by the
Kildare half-back line of Julie Cunningham, Aisling
Holton and Aisling Lambe Kildare may have been
further behind than eleven points to nine going
into the break.

What a fly on the wall might have heard in the
Kerry dressing room at half time is anybody’s
guess, as they were almost ten minutes late coming
out for the second half. But with the management’s
words still ringing in their ears, they knocked
over two quick points to go thirteen points to
nine in front. It was at this point came the first
of two match winning incidents for the lily ladies.
Julie Cunningham won a breaking ball on the Kerry
twenty one and beat three Kerry players before
finishing to the net in fine style to lift the
girl’s heads. A minute later the sides were level
following more excellent inter-passing and running
by Julie Cunningham and Stacy Cannon resulting
in a point by Tracy Noone. 1-10 to 0-13, half
way through the second half, Game ON!

Shari Delaney scored her third point for Kerry
with Kinneally adding her third from play in three
minutes. But from here the Kildare ladies took
over. Brianne Leahy converted a line ball reminiscent
of the great Maurice Fitzgerald’s of 2001 against
Dublin, followed by two Tracy Noone points. Then
came the second of those two match winning incidents.
With the score poised at 1-13 to Kerry’s fifteen
points, Katie Kinneally latched on to a breaking
ball on the forty and was bearing down on goal.
Somehow Aisling Lambe managed to make up the ground
and take the ball off her toe. Kerry did manage
a point from the resulting fifty to level, but
the Kildare girls weren’t to be denied and points
from Noone (2) and Simone Gilbert preceded a top
class save by Kildare keeper Cathriona Dolan in
the dying seconds of the game to deny Kerry a
share of the spoils and round off a memorable
day for Kildare.

There followed a series of excited phone calls
and text messages to family form supporters and
mentors. Particularly to team member Clodagh Flanagan
who was on duty with the U.C.D camogie team in
the Ashbourne Cup, and to supporters club chairman
Hugh Noone who is recovering from a recent ailment.
Whilst all present realize a single swallow doesn’t
make a Summer, they also realized the tenacity,
heart and determination shown by their team in
beating a Kerry side that had three former All-Stars
on show.

On a day when nobody played bad for Kildare, Cathriona
Dolan, Aoife Herbert, Aisling Lambe and Tracy
Noone excelled. While Katie Kinneally, Geraldine
O’Shea and Gráinne ní Fleathearta were best for
the losers.

C. Dolan, A. Herbert, A. Hughes,
C. Bergin, A. Lambe, A. Holton, J. Cunningham
(1 goal), M. O’Brien, B. Leahy (2 points, 1 free),
S. Cannon, T. Noone (6 points, 3 frees), E. Dillon
(5 points, 3 frees), S. Gilbert, N. Earley (3
points), Gillian Behan
Subs: Donna Berry for Gillian Behan

Kerry: Ciara O’Connor, Gráinne O’Malley,
Katie Gleeson (C), Jackie Murnane, Neassa ni Shuilleabheann,
Edel O’Connell, Jenny Johnson, Caroline Kelly,
Gráinne ní Fleathearta, Shari Delaney (3 points),
Sarah O’Connor (2 points, 1 free), Mag’s O’Donoghue
(1 point), Geraldine O’Shea (3 points), Noreen
Fealy (1 point), Katie Kinneally (5 points, 2
Subs: Patrice Dennnihy (1 point) for Noreen Fealy




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