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Kildare Focus

with Ciara Plunkett

Kildare U14 Girls Footballers All Ireland Gold Champions

Kildare 2-9 Tipperary 0-7

By AISLING CLERY

Two first half goals proved crucial as Kildare were crowned All-Ireland U14 Gold champions in front of a packed Crettyard.

Kildare led throughout and despite huge pressure from Tipperary, the Lilywhites prevailed by 8 points.

Tipperary got off to a good start and had two points on the scoreboard courtesy of Abbie Horgan.

Kildare took time to settle and Keelin Dermody opened their scoring from a free before Amy Jones levelled matters two minutes later.

Kildare were moving the ball well with surging runs from wing forwards Katie Ray and Aoibheann Birchall troubling the Tipperary defence.

The game’s opening goal came on 11 minutes from Keelin Dermody, who kicked low to the bottom corner of the Tipperary net.

Aoibheann Birchall pushed Kildare into a four-point lead a minute later.

Tipperary’s Abbie Horgan and Grace Hogan threatened the Kildare defence but Kildare did well keeping out the Tipperary attack.

In a quickfire two-minute spell, Birchall added 1-1 to stretch Kildare’s lead further before a third Horgan point brought Tipperary back into the contest.

Kildare finished the half strongly with Amy Jones pointing her second free and Keelin Dermody firing over to leave Kildare leading 2-6 to 0-4 at the break.

The second half was a much tighter affair with both defences on top. Two pointed frees from Grace Hogan brought Tipperary back to within six points and they could have been even closer but for a terrific save from Kildare goalkeeper Aibhe McKeon.

Kildare kicked three second half points, each by substitute Aoibhe Kelly, the second of which summed up Kildare’s scoring threat, as Kelly received the ball, turned her marker and scored straight over the black spot.

Tipperary were awarded a penalty late on, which was blasted over the bar, and it was to be Kildare’s day with Aoibhe Kelly kicking her third point to secure Kildare’s first U14 national title since 2016.

Scorers – Kildare: A Birchall 1-2, K Dermody 1-2, A Kelly 0-3, A Jones 0-2 (2f).

KILDARE: A McKeon, K McNulty, A O’Riain, M Fruergaard, C Mahon, J McNulty, M McCarthy, A Treacy, C Mallon, K Ray, I Casey, A Birchall, A Mahon, K Dermody, A Jones.

Subs: E Leavy for McKeon, S Boyse for C Mahon, A Kelly for A Mahon, M Magee for Mallon, E Conlan for Casey, A Keegan for Jones, R Yates for Dermody, S Niland for McNulty.

 

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