The U14 girls from Laune Rangers & Cromane joined forces to represent Killorglin in the Community Games U14 ladies football championship.
At the National Finals weekend in Athlone, Killorglin representing Kerry, faced Donegal in the semi-final match on Saturday. The Killorglin girls had their scoring boots on, with 10 of the team registering a score, which demonstrated the balance throughout the squad. The game was very close and tense at times as Donegal scored 3 goals which cancelled out Killorglin’s tally of points. Killorglin’s defence were under pressure for extended periods as they struggled to deal with Donegal's very quick hand passing, however a decisive Lucy O’Donnell goal in the fourth quarter sent Killorglin into a lead which they held to the final whistle.
This was a good offensive team performance from the Killorglin/Cromane girls and the win set them up for a repeat of the 2013 final against Lucan Sarsfields who represented Dublin. Final score: Kerry (Killorglin) 1-12, Donegal 3-4
The final on Sunday was always going to be a tight affair as memories of the 2013 defeat were still fresh in the Killorglin girls’ minds. It was a very wet day so conditions were not ideal, but the crowds - clad in jackets and sheltering under umbrellas - roared their teams on.
An intense but fair match followed with Lucan getting off to a fast start finding the net in the first minute. Killorglin failed to score in the first quarter but settled into the match as it progressed. Whilst the Kerry girls found scores hard to come by, their defence, inspired by the tireless Shannon Foley, grew in stature and held strong against anything that Lucan threw at them. Killorglin grew in confidence and in the third quarter outscored Lucan to leave the game on a knife edge for the final 10 minute quarter.
At the break the Killorglin girls circled around and listened carefully as their managers passionate speech rallied the troops and had them charged & ready for the job at hand.
The girls let out an earth shattering roar that shook the rafters of the Lucan camp before sprinting onto the field. Defeat was not on their agenda as the defence, led by Claire Fealey who had a magnificent game in goals, stood firm under waves of Lucan pressure. A well worked passage of play from Hannah & Cora Joy resulted in a vital goal that put the Kerry parish 4 points clear, however Lucan were not letting the game go and they managed a late goal, which brought them to within a point of Killorglin. With a minute to go, there wasn’t a Kerry supporter left with either nerves or breath who didn’t reach for rosary beads or a rabbit’s foot. The two teams traded a point each before the referee blew the final whistle to screams of joy from the Laune Rangers & Cromane girls. Lucan - whose players and management were a credit to them throughout the game - were sporting in defeat, but the day belonged to the girls from Killorglin & Cromane.
The final score: Kerry(Killorglin) 4-3, Lucan 3-5.
This was a well deserved reward for all the players & coaches who gave their all over the entire Community Games campaign.
The Killorglin/Cromane squad: Laura Brennan, Alanna O’Sullivan, Fodhla Houlihan, Hannah Joy, Maureen Duffy, Cora Joy, Kayleigh McGlashan, Claire Fealey, Maggie West, Rachel Evans, Caitlin McMahon, Alanna Dolan, Roisin Hayes, Nicole Moriarty, Lucy O’Donnell, Shannon Foley.
A big thank you to all the coaches and management : William Joy, Owen Joy, Anthony O’Sullivan, Pat Duffy, Scott McGlashan, Noeleen Gamble