Munster Ladies Gaelic Football Association

Kerry Crowned TG4 Munster Champions after 7 year drought…..

By Anthony Newman

Kerry 2-15

Cork 0-13

Sheer delight for Kerry as they were crowned TG4 Munster Senior A ladies football champions for the first time since 2017 at Mallow.

The Kingdom started well, before falling behind to Cork, but a goal from Emma Dineen just before half-time got them back in contention.

When she raised her second green flag with nine minutes to go it was the killer blow, as they led by six points at that stage and there was no way back for Cork.

Add in a simply outstanding display from Danielle O’Leary, who scored 10 points for Kerry and was the deserving winner of the Player of the Game award, closely followed by Kayleigh Cronin.

O’Leary opened the scoring for Kerry in the fourth minute as she fisted over the bar from a long ball in.

She doubled their lead after 10 minutes, with a long stoppage for an injury in between to players from both sides.

The same player made it 0-3 to no score as Cork were finding it difficult to get going, thanks to some superb defending by Kerry.

Katie Quirke got Cork off the mark after 14 minutes and from the restart Rachel Leahy got their second point to make it 0-3 to 0-2.

With 16 minutes gone Cork were back on level terms when Melissa Duggan did what she does best. She burst forward to score as Cork were now much more in contention.

Quirke got her second from a free to put Cork in front for the first time after 19 minutes play.

Another bursting run from a Cork player, this time Laura O’Mahony, put Cork two to the good as they were now playing the better football.

Quirke pointed from another free, with Aoife Healy and O’Mahony also scoring to make it 0-8 to 0-3 after 28 minutes.

Quirke then got Cork’s ninth point in a row as the Rebels were enjoying the better of the play.

O’Leary and Quirke exchanged points from frees as Cork led by six as half time approached.

Just before the half time whistle Kerry got the boost they needed when a ball in from Katie Brosnan was fisted to the back of the net by Emma Dineen, to see Cork lead by 0-10 to 1-4 at the break.

O’Leary, Kerry’s only point scorer in the first half, added another 30 seconds into the second, with Lydia McDonagh replying for Cork.

O’Leary, who was keeping her side in contention on her own hit another to put a point between the sides. And with 40 minutes gone O’Leary scored again to level it.

Another from O’Leary put Kerry back in front after 41 minutes the first time they lead since the 16th

Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh, who came on after 39 minutes, scored a point, the first Kerry player aside from O’Leary to raise a white flag for them.

O’Leary got her ninth to increase Kerry’s lead, with Niamh Carmody also pointing, to make it 1-11 to 0-11 in their favour after 49 minutes.

Kerry had one hand on the trophy after 51 minutes when Dineen got her, and Kerry’s, second goal to make it 2-11 to 0-11.

Quirke hit back for Cork but time wasn’t on their side as  Ní Mhuircheartaigh and Carmody increased Kerry’s lead.

Ní Mhuircheartaigh got the last score of the game as the Kingdom won the title for the first time since 2017.

Scorers for Kerry: D O’Leary 0-10 (1f), E Dineen 2-0, L  Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-3 (2f), N Carmody 0-2.

Cork: K Quirke 0-7 (5f), L O’Mahony 0-2, R Leahy, M Duggan, A Healy, L McDonagh 0-1. 

KERRY: ME Bolger; E Lynch, K Cronin, C Murphy; A O’Connell, E Dineen, E O’Connor; M O’Connell, A Galvin; N Carmody, N Ní Chonchúir, D Kearney; K Brosnan, D O’Leary, L Scanlon.

Subs: C Butler for ME Bolger, A Harrington for E O’Connor (both ht),  L  Ní Mhuircheartaigh for K Brosnan (39), A Dillane for N Ni Chonchuir (60).

CORKS Murphy; M Duggan, D Kiniry, A Ryan; S Leahy, A Healy, D Kiely; M O’Callaghan, A O’Mahony; E Cleary, L O’Mahony, A McDonagh; L McDonagh, K Quirke, R Leahy.

Subs: S McGoldrick for S Leahy (39), K O’Driscoll for A McDonagh (42), S Kelly for A O’Mahony (44), L Hallihan for L McDonagh (52), S O’Leary for D Kiely (58).

Referee: Paddy Smith, Waterford.

Munster Ladies Gaelic Football Association