Munster U16A Championship
Kerry 5-13 Tipperary 1-4
Kerry U16 Ladies footballers got their Munster Championship campaign off to a flying start with a comprehensive 21 point victoy over a fancied Tipperary side in Tipperary Town last Monday.
The most impressive statistic to emerge from the game from a Kerry point of view was the fact that both of their midfielders and 6 forwards contributed to the scoreboard on the day. This, allied to a teak tough defence that gave very little away, laid the foundation for some superb Kerry teamwork throughout the contest that was bound to please their management team.
Although dominant for most of the game, Kerry still had to call on netminder Ciara Butler to produce 3 outstanding saves on the day, but in truth Tipperary never looked like mounting any type of serious challenge to the overall outcome.
The foundation for Kerry’s victory was laid in a superb first half in which they outscored their opponents by 4-11 to 1-1. The Kerry half backline of Gemma Kearney, Rachel Dwyer and Aoife Dillane were completely dominant in this period, and their dogged defence, allied to a hard working midfield of Mary and Aisling O’Connell, gave the Kerry forwards the platform to display their scoring prowess. Scorer in chief was full forward Siofra O’Shea who contributed 2 goals and 5 points in this period, while she received able backup from Danielle O’Leary, Rachel Kilgallen, Ella Teahan , Clodagh Evans and Mary Collins, who all contributed to an impressive scoreboard. Ashling Ryan scored a point for Tipperary in the first half while Orla Winston chipped in with a good goal.
Tipperary, playing with the wind in the second half, came at Kerry with more determination. While they did threaten at times, keeper Butler, and some great defence from Maud Kelly, Rachel O’Connor and Ava Doherty in the full backline kept their attackers at bay. Tipperary did manage to score 3 points in the second half as Kerry missed a number of chances at the other end. Siofra O’Shea dusted herself off to score a penalty after she was fouled herself , while points from Mary O’Connell and Clodagh Evans sealed the Kerry victory. Kerry manager Rory Kilgallen gave a number of his substitutes some game time, and the manner in which they aquitted themselves gives great confidence to the strength in depth of his panel.
Kerry U16s next game is on March 31st in John Mitchels Complex against Cork.
Kerry scorers ; Siofra O’Shea 3-5 (1 goal pen, 4f), Mary Collins (1-1), Aisling O’Connell (0-2), Clodagh Evans (0-2), Ella Teahan (1 goal), Mary O’Connell (0-1), Rachel Kilgallen (0-1), Danielle O’Leary (0-1).