Youthful Kerry face acid test against the Dubs



It is a decade since Kerry last captured the All-Ireland
Senior Ladies Football title and since that victory back
in 1993, the county has endured barren years with the county
side struggling to say afloat. However all has changed over
the past two seasons, as promotion to the top flight of
the NFL was the catalyst for a revival that now sees the
ladies from the Kingdom, within one game of reaching the
All-Ireland final and a realistic chance of regaining the
holy grail.

There were high hopes that this young Kerry side would make
an impact in the championship but taking the age profile
of the side into account, nothing could be guaranteed. However
a trip to Walsh Park for their Championship opener ended
in a nightmare result for Kerry as Waterford destroyed them
with a powerful display, winning by 2-17 to 2-8. Kerry then
were given a life line when they availed of the back door
and they walloped Clare 5-20 to 1-10, with captain Geraldine
O’Shea, leading by example as she bagged 1-9, with Patrice
Dennehy and Katie Kennelly grabbing 2-3 apiece as Clare
were put to the sword.

Then it was on to effectively a Munster semi final, when
Kerry travelled to Carrigaline and after a pulsating contest
Geraldine O’Shea’s magical dozen, saw her side defeat Cork
on a 2-14 to 3-10. Not for the first time Kerry were rescued
by the silken skills of O’Shea, who is the sole survivor
from Kerry’ s 1993 Championship winning side.

Kerry played Waterford in Pairc Ui Rinn on August Bank Holiday
Monday and they broke the Decie hearts when they ended a
decade of wandering in the wilderness by capturing their
first Munster title in a decade, winning on a 2-12 to 2-10
scoreline. In fact it was a superb display from the Kingdom
girls who recovered from a 2-2 to 0-0 deficit after just
eight minutes to lead 1-8 to 2-4 at half time, with Geraldine
O’Shea placing Patrice Dennehy for the goal.

Kerry just about managed to prevent lighting striking twice
when they withstood a tremendous late flourish from Laois
to hang on and emerge victorious in this hard fought All-Ireland
Senior Quarter Final at Ennis on a 3-8 to 2-8 scoreline.
It was heart stopping stuff as Kerry allowed a eight point
second half led slip and Laois threatened to do what they
did in the League final by staging a remarkable comeback.

Kerry’s mettle was well and truly tested as the players
dug deep to withstand the Laois onslaught but if plaudits
are to be handed out, then it was keeper Andrea O’Donoghue
who produced a five star performance to deny Laois with
three stunning saves in those final frantic minutes. Ramsbottom
led the Laois revival. Goals won the game for Kerry with
Geraldine O’Shea, Deirdre Corridan and Katie Kennelly delivering
the goods.

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