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The foot of theCooley Mountains in Louth provided the scenic backdrop for Kildare’s first win in this year’s National Camogie League . Played on Saturday 22nd March, Kildare comprehensively beat a young competitive Louth side and ended their 2008 League campaign on a positive note.

Playing with the wind in the first half Aine Dempsey opened the scoring with a point from the throw in and this was followed by six points from Orla Bambury, Siobhan Hurley and four from Susie O’Carroll. Three of O’Carroll’s scores were excellent long distance strikes.
Any efforts by Louth were well defended by a strong Kildare half back line with Niamh Breen and Louise Walsh showing particularly well. For the remainder of the first half the scoring was all-Kildare with six further points including one from a placed ball and the half’s only goal by O’Carroll.
Kildare goals were the feature of the second half with midfielder Siobhan Hurley netting one from over 50m and Melanie Treacy beating the Louth goalkeeper twice. O’Carroll, Hurely, Bambury got on the scoresheet again in the second half with white flags while young Clodagh Farrell added two further points.
Louth, though well beaten on the scoreboard, remained committed throughout the game and their efforts were rewarded three minutes before full time when a dropping ball fell behind Lizzie Finnegan in the Kildare goal.
This game concluded Kildare’s interest in the National League from which they won one match, drew one and lost two. The team is rebuilding and seeking to get the blend of youth and experience.
Clare Doran, Caroline Forde, Louise Walsh, Lizzie Finnegan, Emer Hurley, Clodagh Farrell, Ann Dempsey, Aoife Trant, Jackie O’Rourke all made their debuts during this campaign and were excellent again yesterday. The experience gained by them during these Spring games should stand them in good stead.
When this is added to the inter county know how the other players used in this League campaign such as Susie O’Carroll, Orla Bambury, Niamh Breen, Siobhan Hurley, Melanie Treacy, Reiltin Treacy, Ciara Tallon, Carol Nolan, Paula Keatley and the return of Regina O’Gorman Kildare can look forward now in a more positive mood to the Leinster championship and All Ireland championships both on the horizion.

Kildare: Lizzie Finnegan, Aoife Trant, Emer Hurley, Ciara Tallon, Jackie O’Rourke, Niamh Breen, Louise Walsh, Siobhan Hurley (captain)(1-3), Caroline Forde, Clodagh Farrell(0-2), Orla Bambury(0-3), Clare Doran(0-1), Melanie Treacy(2-1), Susie O’Carroll(1-7), Aine Dempsey(0-1).
Subs used: Regina O’Gorman for Clare Doran. Clare Doran for Aine Dempsey.

(i) Leinster under 16 Camogie Final

Kildare 0-6 Carlow 3-5

Kildare’s ambitions to win three in a row Leinster titles were blown off course last Saturday 22nd March when neighbours Carlow secured an eight point victory. An outstanding first half by Carlow, when they scored 3-2, guaranteed that they went home with the silverware on this occasion.

Played in Myshall, Carlow’s intentions  were obvious from early on when they raised two green flags without reply from the Lilywhites.

The Kildare backline were under severe pressure for much of this half. Full back Amy O’Hara was outstanding in leading the defence and eventually Kildare got back in the game. Midfielders, the Celbridge twins Clare and Fiona O’Sullivan, and the half forward line of Noeleen Fleming, Nicole McDonagh and Aoife Caulfied worked hard for limited possession. Eventually, Kildare broke down the Carlow resolve and Cliona McSweeney raised Lilywhites’ hopes when her slotted over excellent four points, including one from a placed ball.

However, Carlow were not willing to live with a two point difference. They upped their game again and managed a goal and two points before the half time whistle. This gave them a comfortable seven point lead on a scoreline of Kildare 0-4 Carlow 3-2.

In contrast to the first half, when Carlow were undoubtedly the stronger, little separated the sides in the second half. Possession, play and the scoreline were much more equal. Both teams were restricted to scoring a couple of points.  McSweeney got two further points for Kildare leaving her the sole scorer for the Lilywhites. However, Carlow’s lead was too much.

The best efforts of Mc Sweeney, her colleagues in the forwad line, a hard working midfield, and a heroic sextet in the backline were insufficient to turn around Carlow and they ran out winners 3-5 to Kildare’s 0-6.

Kildare: Alison Hyland, Fiona Trant (captain), Amy O’Hara, Rosin Mellet, Grainne Temple, Roisin Kane, Clare Flyn, Fiona O’Sullivan, Clare O’Sullivan, Noeleen Flemin, Nicole McDonagh, Aoife Caulfied, Sarah Cullen, Cliona McSweeney, Lorna Merrins. Subs used: Sophie Donoghue for Roisin Mellet, Rachel Phelan for Lorna Merrins, Kate Montgomery for  Aoife Caulfied.

(ii) Kildare announce under 14 County Camogie Squad 2008

Following a series of trials over a total of five weeks, Kildare Under 14 managers Gerry Ryan and Martin Connolly have invited 29 girls to join the training squad for this year’s Under 14 B Leinster Championship. Over 50 girls from clubs all over the county took part in the trials and the enthusiasm and commitment shown was very impressive.  The Kildare girls face Wicklow, Carlow, Meath, Laois, Louth, Westmeath, and old foes Offaly in this year’s competition, which starts with a home match against Wicklow on 12 April. The girls chosen are:
Celbridge: Niamh Berry,  Sinead Cummins,  Katie Devine,  Sinead Mc Cabe
Aisling O’Halloran,  Niamh Rosney,  Aisling Slevin
Clane: Leona Flynn
Eire Og: Sally Byrne
Johnstownbridge: Louise Keogh
Kill: Katie Nolan
Maynooth: Louise Doran,  Ciara Farrell,  Sarah Greally, Ciana Heneghan,
 Jenny O’Dwyer,  Hannah Stack
Naas: Maria Bergin,  Aine Cummins,  Evelyn Goode,  Ciara O’Hara,  Ciara Woulfe
Nurney: Phillippa Cains,  Paula Lambert,  Clare O’Reilly
Rathcoffey: Deirdre Smullen
St Laurences: Alison Keatley, Chloe Monaghan,  Melissa O’Neill

Commenting on the squad, Gerry Ryan said: “”The strength of the squad is very encouraging and shows the value of the Development Squads run by Kildare Camogie in the past few years. Also, we will be continuing to scrutinise Under 14 players in the County and, based on performances will add to the squad where appropriate””

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