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REPORT: Horgan’s eight makes history for Kerry in thriller

Sun 16th Apr

Daragh Ó Conchúir

County, Latest

By Daragh Ó Conchúir, at Croke Park
Kerry 0-14
Meath 0-13
Kerry came out on top of a thrilling encounter with Meath to claim the county’s first Very Camogie League Division 2A title at Croke Park.

The Royals contributed in full to a hugely entertaining affair in which the teams were level seven times and in Amy Minogue, had one of the games key protagonists, but with Jackie Horgan contributing eight points, half of which came from play, it was Kerry that had their noses in front when Brian Kearney blew the final whistle after more than seven minutes of injury time.

While both sides missed chances in the first half, it was a period that produced outstanding points from both sides, as well as an exhibition of hooking from a defensive perspective.

Minogue was spectacular, a powerful presence in the middle with splendid accuracy, hitting four points in that opening period, with all three of her scores from play right out of the dop drawer.

The Dunderry dynamo opened the scoring from a 45 but Aoife Behan and the brilliant Horgan put Kerry ahead.

Then came the first of Minogue’s wondrous points from play, sending a misplaced clearance through the posts from the 65m line, tight to the Cusack Park sideline.

That was the first of four consecutive scores for Brendan Skehan’s team, Aoibhinn Lally, Minogue and Leah Devine making it 0-5 to 0-2 by the end of the first quarter.

Amy O’Sullivan struck from a tight angle to stop the rot for Kerry and Patrice Diggin converted a free, having sent a few similar opportunities astray before then.

Olivia O’Halloran and Diggin exchanged scores but Minogue was on fire and she drew a fine save from Aoife Fitzgerald before launching a phenomenal fourth. Kerry remained obdurate and Horgan replied, leaving a point between them at the break, 0-7 to 0-6.

Pat Ryan’s side flew out of the traps with two quick points from Horgan, from a free and play but then Amy Gaffney replied with a brace of her own.

Kerry had a gilt-edged goal opportunity when O’Sullivan was released inside the square but her shot was miraculously saved by Tara Murphy from almost point-blank range.

It was tit-for-tat all the way, Horgan having taken over the free-taking duties for Kerry to good effect while Minogue and sub Norette Carey were on target for Meath.

The Kingdom finally made their break for glory in the in the last five minutes of normal time, Horgan giving them the lead before Diggin, who had been unusually subdued but is the rock upon which so much of Kerry’s progress has been founded upon, came up with a truly sensational point from almost in the Hogan Stand, 40m out.

There was a real scare as Fitzgerald made another good stop from Minogue and Abbye Donnelly’s instinctive ground shot from the rebound flew millimetres wide.

Donnelly did halve the deficit but Horgan read a batted clearance cleverly to restore the two-point margin, meaning that Gaffney’s third point of the second half was not enough to deny the green and gold a historic triumph.

SCORERS FOR KERRY: J Horgan 0-8(4fs); P Diggin 0-3(2fs); A O’Sullivan, A Behan, N Carey 0-1 each

SCORERS FOR MEATH: A Minogue 0-6(1 45, 2fs); A Gaffney 0-3; A Donnelly, A Lally, L Devine, O O’Halloran 0-1 each


KERRY: A Fitzgerald, M Costello, S Murphy, R McCarthy, A Behan, N Leen, K Lynch, J Horgan, E O’Donoghue, P Diggin, L Collins, C Spillane, C Walsh, A M Leen, A O’Sullivan. Subs: N Carey for Leen (43)

MEATH: T Murphy, S Payne, C Coffey, R O’Neill, T King, M Clince, E Burke, C O’Riordan, A Minogue, A Lally, G Coleman, A Gaffney, O O’Halloran, E O’Connell, L Devine. Subs: A Donnelly for O’Connell (51), S Leonard for O’Riordan (60)

REFEREE: Brian Kearney (Kildare)

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