The Kerry U14 team had to dig deep to overcome adversity and Tipperary in the MLGFA U14 Championship semi-final.
Kerry U. 14’s had a well-deserved one-point victory over Tipperary in the Munster A Semi Final, a game played at high tempo, with sheer determination, an abundance of goals, a disallowed goal for Aisling Hanafin and excellent passages of play by both teams. Kerry opened the scoring with a point from captain Amy Harrington, Tipperary replied with a goal and a point. Kerry were down to fourteen players very early in the first half. Another point from Harrington, a well taken goal by Melanie Higgins and the conscientious Finola Ní Chathasaigh rattled Tipperary with 1-1. Tipperary pressed hard scoring 1-4 but goal keeper Saoirse Dorrian made a great save to keep Kerry in the game. Kerry went in at half time two points down with the score 2-5 to 2-3. The Kerry girls came out with fire and determination in the second half to win this game. Kerry rattled Tipperary with two well executed goals from Amy Harrington. Kerry now playing with 12 players, continued to attack and create chances. Kerry’s Laura Leslie was unlucky when her goal chance hit the crossbar. Tipperary replied with a goal and a couple of points. Kerry’s defence worked tirelessly to keep Tipperary out. The Kerry backline was dominant, with dogged defence. The hardworking midfield pairing of Ellie O’ Connell and Caoimhe Guerin-Crowley aided their backline when called upon and supplied the forward line with superb ball. Tipperary continued to attack, scoring a goal and clocked up more points. This did not unsteady this Kerry U14’s team. With the final whistle approaching, Kerry were awarded a well-deserved free taken by Melanie Higgins. With the free dropping short, the hardworking Harrington was awarded a penalty for her endeavours. Kerry’s diligent vice-captain Ellie O’ Connell stepped up to the mark to fire Kerry into the lead with a rocket of a shot into the net. Tipperary continued to press and had a two-point advantage. But the industrious Melanie Higgins shook Tipperary with the final goal of the game after hard work from Finola Ní Chathasaigh and Heather McNamara. The gallant Kerry side held out for a one point victory over a strong Tipperary side on a score line of 6-3 to 3-11. Kerry now march on to play Cork in the Munster A final in the coming weeks. The Kerry Management are extremely proud of the tireless, determined attitude and effort made by this Kerry U.14s team in the Munster Semi Final.
Scorers: Amy Harrington 2-2, Melanie Higgins 2-0, Finola Ní Chatasaigh 1-1, Ellie O’ Connell 1-0