Kingdom Reign in the Rain

Kerry  7-15
Galway  3-3

WHAT a few weeks it has been for ladies football in the Kingdom. First, their
seniors defied the odds to beat Cork, the standard-bearers of the modern game, and
win the Munster title and on Wednesday evening in Bruff they served notice that
their production lines are also in excellent working order as their U-16s turned on
the style to claim the All-Ireland A Championship.

29 July 2015; Kerry captain Faye O'Donoghue lifts the cup after victory over Galway. All Ireland U16 A Ladies Football Championship Final, Galway v Kerry, Bruff, Co. Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
29 July 2015; Kerry captain Faye O’Donoghue lifts the cup after victory over Galway. All Ireland U16 A Ladies Football Championship Final, Galway v Kerry, Bruff, Co. Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Graham Shine’s team led from pillar to post and added Galway’s scalp to a campaign
that previously brought wins over Waterford, Cork (twice) and Dublin. It was their
first success at the grade since 2011 and their third-ever since the competition’s
inaugural year in 1976.

It was a cruel defeat for the Galway girls. They saw off Mayo in a thrilling
Connacht final and defeated Tyrone in the last four. Very little went right for them
in Wednesday’s decider, however, when they simply came up against a superior side at
the peak of their powers. No shame in that.

Seven goals came in Kerry’s emphatic win. Fiadhna Tagney scored their first inside
ninety seconds and two more followed from corner-forward Hannah O’Donoghue. They
would have added to that tally but for some superb last-ditch defending from Galway
defenders Laura Corcoran, Orla Canney Bronagh Quinn as well as some fine saves from
Laura Hession.

Kerry had 3-6 racked up shortly after the quarter-hour mark but Galway managed to
stem the tide for the next ten minutes and a Niamh Daly goal on the stroke of half-
time left the Kingdom 3-9 to 1-2 in front.

Even though the Connacht champions restarted with the wind at their backs, there was
little or no let up from Kerry. Further second goals arrived from O’Donoghue, who
completed her hat-trick on 43 minutes, two from Aoife O’Callaghan and finally
Elizbeth Mohan in the closing stages.

To their credit, Galway never stopped battling and were rewarded with two goals of
their own from sub Emily Donnelly arrived entering the final quarter.

But it was Kerry’s day and several late scores pushed out the final margin. They had
stars all over the pitch and it was a slick, polished performance from 1 to 15.

Their teamwork, support play and execution of the basics were all first rate in what
were greasy conditions at the Limerick venue. On top of all that was a ruthlessness
in front of the posts that saw them turn their dominance into scores.

KERRY: L. Teahan (Kilcummin); K. Maher (Kilcummin), F. O’Donoghue (captain, Fossa),
T. Breen (Laune Rangers); A. O’Reilly (Fossa), L. Coughlan (Rathmore), C. Murphy (0
-2, Milltown-Listry); E. Dineen (0-3, Glenfesk), L. Henry (0-1, Listowel Emmets); F.
Tagney (1-3, one free, Legion), C. O’Brien (Laune Rangers), E. Mohan (1-1, Legion);
A. O’Callaghan (2-2, two frees, Rathmore), E. McGlynn (0-2, Fossa), H. O’Donoghue
(3-1, Fossa). Subs used: B. Ryan (Rathmore), R. Murphy (Legion), M. O’Flaherty

GALWAY: L. Hession (St Gabriel’s); O. Canney (Corofin), L. Corcoran (Moycullen), A.
Glynn (Claregalway); R. Naughton (Annaghdown), B. Quinn (captain, Annaghdown), C.
Keaveney (Glenamaddy-Williamstown); B. Ní Eallaithe (Mícheál Breathnachs), N. Daly
(St Gabriel’s, 0-1); R. Kelly (Glenamaddy-Williamstown), S. Heffernan (Killannin),
N. Daly (Kilconly, 1-0); L. Noone (Kilkerrin-Clonberne), L. Coen (Corofin, 0-2, one
free), M. Ní Chearnaigh (Clonbur). Subs used: L. Davis ((Glenamaddy-Williamstown),
K. Screene (Menlough-Skehana), M. Mitchell (St Brendan’s), E. Donnelly (Corofin, 2-
0), R. Connolly (Tuam-Cortoon).

REFEREE: Niall McCormack (Laois).

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