Young and fearless Kilkenny retain League and eye double

by on the 27th of April 2017

league final ja malone pom

Player of the Game Julieann Malone

Kilkenny 2-7

Cork 0-10


The National League and Championship double was claimed last season


And now in the mood Kilkenny retained their Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division 1 title to get 2017 off to flying start. This time a young and determined outfit turned in a strong all-round team performance to beat fancied Cork in the decider in Limerick on Sunday which augurs well for the Championship. Just as in the All-Ireland Final last September, Cork were unable to work-out what Kilkenny were all about

“We were delighted with the performance more so than anything else, with so many young girls starting; seven weren’t on the All-Ireland team last year” was the reaction from pleased Kilkenny manager, Ann Downey


Good Performance

“If we had a good performance and didn’t win, I would still be happy, but getting the win is just the icing on the cake,” she added. She said in fairness to the girls they have stepped up to the plate. The county was hit by a glut of injuries during the League, but the players simply drove on. “The days that Wexford beat us & Cork beat us I was wondering would we get to the League Final, but in the end getting there was a real bonus,” the manager suggested

“The young girls showed they are well able to play Camogie and we gave them their head. They proved us right”, she assured. The game opened with Denise Gaule scoring a goal for the Cats. Julieann Malone fielded a ball in the corner, hand passed out to Miriam Walsh who floated the ball in. Gaule read the play perfectly as the Cork goalie, Aoife Murray advanced, and she hand-passed the ball over her head of the ‘keeper and into the net. Shortly afterwards Aisling Thompson cleared the ball into the path of the fast running Gemma O’Connor and she split the posts to get Cork off the mark. A minute later, Katie Power (K) won the tough ball between two Cork defenders and slotted over a lovely point. Power followed with another well taken point two minutes later, which was followed by a Denise Gaule point after good approach work by Danielle Morrissey & Miriam Walsh.

In the 17th minute Katriona Mackey scored Cork’s second point from a free. The losers attacked again from the puck out, but Ann Dalton whose reading of the game was class all day, cleared the ball to Julieann Malone who scored a beautiful point on the run. Katriona Mackey (C) scored two points from frees and a point from Aisling Dunphy (K) to leave the score 1-5 to 0-4. From the puck out Cork charged forward, Aisling Thompson crossed to Katriona Mackey, who got off a shot towards Emma Kavanagh in the Kilkenny goal. The latter raced off her line to divert the ball out of the Cork full-forwards reach before it was cleared upfield by Ann Dalton onto Jenny Reddy. The latter was fouled and Denise Gaule took the resulting free and put it between the posts to leave the half time score 1-6 to 0-4 in favour of the winners


The second half started with Cork scoring the first point through a Katriona Mackey free. Cork introduced Orla Cotter in the 32minute and they were a different, more vibrant team after her introduction. Within two minutes she scored a free to reduce the margin to three points. The key moment arrived in the 41st minute. The referee awarded a free to Kilkenny, but Cork believed it was their free and Gemma O’Connor went out to stand over the sliotar. However, once the official confirmed it was a Kilkenny free, the alert Denise Gaule ran to the ball. Almost on the run, she shot a quick free to Danielle Morrissey, which caught the opposition napping.

Gemma O’Connor did get back to gather possession but she was dispossessed and Miriam Walsh powered past the challenges of Rena Buckley and Aoife Murray before hand-passing the ball to the net. Orla Cotter (C) cut the deficit to four points with two points. The nearest Cork got to getting a goal that could certainly have put a different slant on the proceedings came in the 48th minute. Amy O’Connor fielded Katriona Mackey’s crossfield delivery, cut inside a Kilkenny defender and unleashed a shot from the 13m line. Out of nowhere, Catherine Foley arrived to produce a sensational block and the sliotar was cleared

Danielle Morrissey scored Kilkenny’s last point in the 57th minute from a free. Late points from Libby Coppinger and Hannah Looney, the latter a sizzling shot that just cleared the crossbar, left Cork short at the finish. Kilkenny attacker, Miriam Walsh said, “It was a great physical match. When we played them before in the league, we didn’t take as many chances. Today we ran at them and it really paid off”

Scores – Kilkenny – Denise Gaule 1-2 (1 free), Miriam Walsh 1-0, Katie Power 0-2, Danielle Morrissey 0-1 (1 free), Aisling Dunphy, Julieann Malone 0-1 each

Cork – Katriona Mackey 0-4 (3 frees), Orla Cotter, 0-3 (1 free), Gemma O’Connor, Libby Coppinger, Hannah Looney 0-1 each

Kilkenny – Emma Kavanagh, Michelle Teehan, Catherine Foley, Grace Walsh, Aisling Nolan, Ann Dalton, Claire Phelan, Aisling Dunphy, Meighan Farrell, Denise Gaule, Miriam Walsh, Jenny Reddy, Julieann Malone, Katie Power, Danielle Morrissey

Subs- Aoife Doyle for A Nolan; Edwina Keane for A Dunphy; Jenny Clifford for D Morrissey; Ann Marie Lennon, Sarah Crowley, Miriam Frisby, Stacey Quirke, Aine Gannon, Laura Murphy, Sarah Kent, Niamh Deely, Grace O’Donnell, Roisin Phelan, Colette Dormer, Shelly Farrell

Cork – Aoife Murray, Eimear O’Sullivan, Laura Treacy, Libby Coppinger, Pamela Mackey, Gemma O’Connor, Rena Buckley (c), Aisling Thompson, Jennifer Barry, Amy O’Connor, Orla Cronin, Julia White, Katriona Mackey, Niamh McCarthy, Linda Collins

Subs – Libby Coppinger for P Mackey; Orla Cotter for L Collins; Hannah Looney for J White; Finola Neville for J Barry, Amy Lee, Leanne O’Sullivan, Rachel O’Shea

Ref: Owen Elliott (Antrim)

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