Kerry are U16 “A” All Ireland champions

Kerry retained their All-Ireland U16 “A” football crown with a massive 20-point
victory over Dublin as Kerry were outstanding from start to finish, with a clinical display of heart, power, determination and firepower. Kerry built the foundations for this victory with a superb first half performance, as they went in leading by 14 points at the break 2-13 to 5 points.

By full-time, the margin had increased to a 20 point advantage as player-of-the-match Fiadhna Tangney and Aoife O’Callaghan collected 1-11 between them.
Kerry opened proceedings with two points by Hannagh O’Donoghue from a free and Fiadhna Tagney from play, before Dublin’s first score arrived in the fourth minute from Caoimhe O’Connor and Kerry replied and hit back to establish a five-point lead from the boots of Fiadhna Tagney with 2, and 1 apiece from Aoife O’Callaghan, Erica McGlynn and Hannah O’Donoghue and were well in control of proceedings in the early exchanges.

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The tight making by the Kerry backs made life hell for the Dublin forwards and this continued for the entire game, the work rate of Kate Maher, Tara Breen, Ciara O’Brien, Anna O’Reilly, All Ni Mhathuna and Kayla O’Connor was second to none as Dublin’s Rachel Brennan and midfielder Niamh Netherton found out on several occasions.

Kerry looked capable of scoring a goal whenever they ran at the Dublin defense, even though Dublin had Jodi Egan as a sweeper in front of their goals as an extra defender.
But Kerry overcame the extra defenders and then struck for goal number one as Hannah O’Donoghue showed her striking prowess by roaring through for a 17th-minute goal.
Kerry dominated this game in each of their positions as Dublin tried a double sweeper system, but Kerry played one on one and controlled the game as well as dictating the pace to their advantage. Dublin added their second point of the half from Sarah McMahon and from the kick out Kerry went in search of a score and the damage to Dublin could have been much worse but Bri­d Ryan who was one on one with the Dublin keeper got blown for overcarrying just before the small square.
But Brid made no mistake minutes later as she shot it passed the Dublin keeper as Kerry now extend their lead to 2-11 to 4 points and Kerry added a further 2 points in the closing minutes of the opening half from Erica McGlynn and Aoife O’ Callaghan to Dublins 2 point from O’Connor and Sarah McMahon. In the last passage of play, Dublin did go beyond the 13 mtr line but Rachel Brennan’s effort dribbled wide and added to Dublin’s woes on the night as the Kerry defense Marshalled by Kate Maher, Tara Breen and captain Ciara O’Brien didn’t give an inch of ground away.
Thus giving Kerry a 14 point advantage at half time. 2-13 to 5 points.

At the restart Kerry picked up where they left off as O’Callaghan converted a free before burying a 34th-minute penalty for Kerry’s third goal, after Fiadhna Tangney was fouled and this contest was well and truly over. Kerry added further points from Fiadhna Tagney, Niamh Ni Chonchuir and Aofe O’Callaghan and Dublin couldn’t reply as they just didn’t have the speed, agility or ability to keep pace with this outstanding team and Kerry kept defending hard and fast against Dublin, and limited them to just another 5 points in the second half.
Truth be told but Dublin can look to their keeper Ãine Ryan and the damage could have been worse from a Dublin perspective but for Ryan, who pulled off a number of fine saves in both halves.
In the last quarter Dublin came close to a goal when Emma McCormack struck the base of Laura Teahan’s post before the goalkeeper pulled off a fine save and in the last 10 minutes Laura put a Ciara Holland point blank effort over the crossbar. But Kerry replied with points from a Sophie Lynch effort after Sophie cleared her defense, she ran 70 mteres and pointed, and 3 efforts from Mollie Carrol, Jadyn Lucey and Ceiti Ni Luing.
Kerry stuck fast and regardless of what the scoreboard said, Kerry defended and attacked as if the game has just started. Supporters from both sides were impressed by the pace, skill and heart displayed. The most memorable aspect of the whole game was the clinical, pure football, heart and determination and how impressive in the way, the Kerry girls went about their business and deservedly so are the U16 “A” All Ireland Champions for 2016.

Scorers for Kerry: Aoife O’Callaghan 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-3f), Fiadhna Tangney 0-6, Hannah O’Donoghue 1-2, Brid Ryan 1-0, Erica McGlynn 0-2 , Mollie Carroll, Anna O’Reilly, Sophie Lynch, Niamh Ni Chonchuir, Jadyn Lucey & Ceit Ni Luing 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dublin: C Holland 0-3 (2f), S Fagan & C O’Connor 0-2 each, J Egan, S McMahon & E Loughlin 0-1 each.
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KERRY: Laura Teahan; Ali Ni Mhathuna, Tara Breen, Kate Maher; Ciara O’Brien (Capt), Anna O’Reilly, Kayla O’Connor; Brid Ryan, Niamh Ni Chonchuir; Fiadhan Tangney, Labhaoise Walmsley, Sophie Lynch; Erica McGlynn, Hannah O’Donoghue, Aoife O’Callaghan.
Subs: M O’Carroll for McGlynn (41), A Clifford for Ni Chonchuir (43), J Lucey for O’Donoghue (51), R Fitzgerald for Ni Mhathuna (56), C Ni Luing for Ryan (56).
Kerry panel: Dasha Puzanova, Julie O’Sullivan, Ciara Murphy, Ellen O’Sullivan and Ciara Randles.

DUBLIN: Á Ryan; L Dempsey, L Davies, H Murphy; E Healy, S Fagan, M O’Dea; G O’Driscoll, N Hetherton; J Egan; R Brennan, C Murray; C O’Connor, S McMahon, C Holland.
Subs: E McCormack for McMahon (28), H Leahy for Murray (28), E Loughlin for Dempsey (h.t.), S Wylde for Egan (54), K McNally for Holland (54).
Referee: G Chapman (Sligo)