By Daragh Ó Conchúir
Down had just too much firepower for a committed Kerry to annex the All-Ireland minor ‘C’ camogie title in Naas on a 1-16 to 0-10 scoreline.
The Munster champions were not short of opportunities themselves and might have rattled their conquerors had they been more clinical with the goal chances they created.
They failed to raise the green flag though and in truth, there could be no argument about the merit of Down’s success, as they held most of the aces throughout the hour.
Down got the scoring under way with a point from Brid McGourty but Kerry responded well with a couple of points from Sarah Murphy. Both sides had goal opportunities with Eirne Ní Dheasmhunaigh’s strong running causing particular problems to the Down defence.
Significantly though, it was the Mourne women that raised a green flag in the 19th minute courtesy of Deirbhile Savage and that strike gave her side a two-point lead. Both teams exchanged scores but it was Down that held the whip hand at half time, 1-6 to 0-5.
The winners cranked up the pressure after the resumption with points from Niamh Mallon and Aoife Keown inside the opening three minutes. Keown helped them establish a firm dominance of the midfield area and points from Aimee MacAleenan and McGourty resulted in Down stretching their advantage to eight points.
It was at this juncture that Kerry might have rescued the situation with Síomha Ní Dheasmhunaigh and Patrice Diggin skimming the post with efforts on goal.
Instead, MacAleenan stretched the Down advantage with points from MacAleenan and McGourty, and though Áine O’Connor,
Murphy, Diggin and Annmarie Leen did register points for Kerry, they just could not peg back the Ulster queenpins.