The Senior Ladies deservedly claimed a draw with a stirring finish to what was always a competitive and enjoyable contest against Firies played at a dry but breezy Direen this afternoon. Following on from last week’s draw with Clounmacon/Moyvane they maintained their unbeaten run in the Junior A Championship and the nature of their second half performance will please them most. Driven on from midfield by Kerry senior panelist Keri Ann Hanrahan they reeled in Firies who after ten minutes in the second half led by as much as six points. Fellow Kerry player Elizabeth Mohan caught fire in this period also and both needed to show their quality against an Emma Costello inspired Farranfore outfit.
The visitors made the better start to proceedings hitting 1-2 early one without reply before wingback Andrea Murphy stole upfield to clip over her side’s opening score. Full forward Anne Marie O Sullivan then got in behind the visitors defence to coolly finish to the net. Andrea hit a beauty with her left as Firies led by 1-3 to 1-2 at this juncture. But again the Legion forwards combined well with Julie Kelly at the end of a fine move to slot home another goal. This marked a period of dominance now for the home side but a combination of good goalkeeping and some sloppy finishing saw some chances go awry. Firies finished the half the stronger and indeed Legion would be very thankful to goalkeeper Deirdre Lyne, calm and assured throughout, who pulled off a full length penalty save and although beaten not long after the save kept them in touch at half time, trailing by two, 2-4 to 2-2.
Firies again came out of the traps flying in the second half hitting four points to Elizabeth Mohan’s one, an excellent placed ball effort, thereby pushing out their lead to 2-8 to 2-3. At this point and playing with the aid of the breeze a full court press was applied to the Firies kickout and it yielded results with Elizabeth from a free and Mairead O Donoghue and Aine Devlin from play cutting the gap to 3, 2-9 to 2-6. Elizabeth then hit a rocket to the roof of the net following a patient and well worked move and now the sides were level. However in the blink of an eye Firies ran in for a goal themselves to pull three clear again but there was no hint of panic settling into the Legion ranks. Elizabeth from a free and play answered another point from Firies, score now 3-10 to 3-8. Aine Devlin chipped over to leave the minimum between the sides and set up a grandstand finish.
Again huge pressure from the Legion front eight on the Fires defence saw them force a turnover and Player of the game Elizabeth Mohan had a long range effort that dissected the posts. From the kickout referee John Purcell ,whose approach lent greatly to the game, blew his whistle for the final time and few would argue that a draw wasn’t a fair result. Full credit to both teams who played with real endeavour and gusto in what was a great advertisement for Ladies football.
Cromane is the destination for the next round which will be played next Sunday September 11th at 12 noon. With a few additions to the panel to return the squad will be looking forward to the remaining rounds in the Championship.
Team..Deirdre Lyne, Ciara Doolan, Kate McCarthy, Aisling Stack, Andrea Murphy(0-2), Ellen Corridan, Isobel Murphy, Keri Ann Hanrahan, Tara Murphy, Chloe Hue, Elizabeth Mohan(1-5), Mairead O Donoghue(0-1), Julie Kelly(1-0), Ann Marie O Sullivan(1-0), Aine Devlin(0-2).
Subs Clodagh Sheahan for Anne Marie O Sullivan, Caelyn Grady for Julie Kelly, Selina Looney, Lauren Horgan, Aoife Healy