Kerry’s hopes of reaching the final of the inaugural U17 All-Ireland Football Championship came unstuck at Cusack Park, Ennis last Saturday when they fell by a five point margin at semi-final stage to a very impressive and well prepared Roscommon team.
Having taken the scalp of Galway in the Connacht final, this Roscommon team were not short on confidence and from the moment that referee, Sean Lonergan, threw the ball in in Cusack Park they took the game to Kerry. Despite facing into the strong breeze in the opening half, the Rossies landed three points, two from centre half forward, Paul Carey, in the first six minutes of the match to immediately put down a marker. Kerry’s ‘40 yards’ man, Michael Kelleher, struck for a great individual goal in the 8th minute to haul the favourites back into the game but within another five minutes the John Mitchels man’s work was undone.
Kerry’s dreams of reaching the All-Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Final died at the Limerick Gaelic Grounds on Saturday last when a physically stronger Dublin side prevailed and advanced to a final meeting with Westmeath.
The game was tight throughout and though Dublin held the upper hand in the opening quarter, they were not converting possession into scores and the Kingdom girls were in this contest until Dublin scored a fortuitous 40th minute goal.
Patrice Diggin once again emerged as the star player of the game and she drove Kerry forward at every opportunity and scored all but one of Kerry’s nine points.
Young players dream of their senior championship debut and for 16-year-old Hannah O’Donoghue, it was a dream debut in Nolan Park on Saturday evening.
Comfortable off both feet, O’Donoghue, an underage Ireland soccer international, registered 1-4 from play while Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh added 1-3 for the Munster champions. O’Donoghue was a late addition to the Kerry starting team and the Beaufort star, who won two All-Ireland U16 medals with Kerry manager Graham Shine, more than justified that inclusion.