Killarney U18 girls lose in Munster League Semi-Final
Final Score: Killarney 12-14 Carrick On Suir/Thurles
(Words by Diarmuid O’Malley, Pics by Anne Gabbett)
Killarney went down to the narrowest defeat in the Munster league semi-final. This was the first time in the club’s history that the girls from Kerry reached the Munster league semi-final in the u18.5 age category. Played in front of a large crowd on a terribly wet afternoon, the girls from both sides put in an incredible effort in a very evenly contested game.
It was the Carrick/Thurles girls who got off to a flier, by scoring after three minutes which was converted from close to the posts. This was the wake-up call that Killarney needed and within five minutes from their first attacking move Killarney scored a very good try through Marina Eagar, after some great interplay by Ali O’Donoghue to leave the score at 05-07 to the team from Tipperary
Both sides played good running rugby in very difficult conditions, next to score was the Carrick/Thurles winger in the corner, which was incredibly converted from the left-hand corner by the Tipperary kicker, this left the score at halftime 05-14 to Carrick/Thurles.
In the second half the Killarney out half Fia Whelan put her team into some great attacking positions through pinpointed accuracy of her kicking from hand. They put a huge amount of pressure on the Tipperary defence and first Ava O’Malley then Emer O Keefe were both tackled just short of the try line. Most of the second half was played in the Tipperary half but time and time again their defence held on.
With nine minutes left on the clock, Cromane’s Lilly Morris got the ball on the halfway line and made an incredible weaving run and leaving four defenders in her wake, in the process of diving for a try in the corner she was tackled high, and the referee had no hesitation to award the penalty try – game on.
Again, the Tipperary defence answered all the questions of a Killarney team who tried everything to get over the line in the closing minutes, but unfortunately just couldn’t manage to score, leaving the girls from Tipperary who made the long trip down with a great win on the road. A special shoutout to Killorglin’s. Airida Matevicute who was playing her first ever game of rugby and played incredibly well on the day.
The Team which lined out on the day were:
1. Emer O Keefe
2. Molly Gabbett
3. Lilly Morris (Joint Captain)
5. Airida Matevicute
6. Becci Fleming
7.Katie O Donoghue
8.Ava O Malley
10. Fia Whelan (Joint Captain)
11. Niamh Dorrian
12. Bronagh Dorrian
13. Ali O Donoghue
15. Marina Eagar
Manager: Jenna Moynihan