It had been a long and testing month for all involved with the Kerry U14s and so to come out on the right side of yesterday evening’s replayed Munster U14 ladies football semi-final quite clearly meant a lot.
Tipperary and Kerry first met in the semi-final on March 31 at Bansha, the Kingdom emerging victorious on a scoreline of 6-3 to 3-11. However, it emerged in the aftermath that one of the Kerry players, who had been yellow-carded and sin-binned in the second-half, returned to the play before the 10-minute sin bin period had elapsed.
Tipperary appealed to Croke Park and were successful in securing a replay.
Kerry manager Doona said the controversy from their first meeting had a lot to do with the lack of officials present at the game.
“The referee was on his own, there were no sideline officials appointed for that game. The girl in question was yellow carded, the referee beckoned to us and we thought that was the signal to bring her back on. She had been off for 12 and a half minutes at this stage. It is game-time minutes you are off for, not just 10 minutes. The referee told her she had to go back off and in total, she spent 15 and a half minutes off the field.
“We had another girl in the bin for a high tackle during that first game. She spent 17 and a half minutes off the field. The match finished without her coming back on. If you’re playing a 42, 43-minute second-half, it tells you a lot. In fairness to that referee, he was under pressure because he was on his own.”
Yesterday, the referee was assisted by two sideline officials.
Doona added: “We were under a lot of pressure for the past month with appeals and all that, so credit to the girls for getting a win here this evening. They are a brilliant bunch.”
Kerry were 5-2 to 1-6 in front at the break, having hit 3-3 without reply in the opening half.
Amy Harrington, Clodagh Murray (two) and Finola Ni Chathasaigh (two) supplied their first-half goals, with Harrington’s second on 42 minutes a crucial score after Tipperary had cut the gap to three points.
A late Melanie Higgins goal sealed their progression to the Munster final against Cork.
A Harrington (2-2); F Ni Chathasaigh, C Murray (2-0 each); M Higgins (1-1, 1-0 free); E O’Connell, A Hanafin (0-1 each).
K Flannery (2-0); S Keating (0-5, 0-2 frees); N Costigan (1-1); S Finnane (0-3, 0-3 frees).
C Cronin (Castleisland Desmonds); S Dennehy (Fossa), S Fitzpatrick (Southern Gaels), H McNamara (Austin Stacks); K Leen (Abbeydorney), S Tagney (Scartaglin), A Burke (Fossa); C Guerin-Crowley (Rathmore), E O’Connell (Southern Gaels); S Lynch (Listowel Emmets), C Murray (Austin Stacks), M Higgins (Abbeydorney); A Hanafin (Abbeydorney), A Harrington (Inbhear Sceine Gaels), F Ni Chathasaigh (Castlegregory).
A Brosnan for Murray (27 mins, inj); K Dunworth (Ballyduff) for Lynch (HT); L Leslie (Laune Rangers) for Brosnan (58).
M O’Dwyer (Moycarkey Borris); K O’Dwyer (Slieve Felim Raperee), K McGrath (Holycross Ballycahill), N Dunne (Moyne Templetuohy); N Martin (Sliabh na mBan), T O’Leary (Clerihan), K Moore (Moyle Rovers); N Towey (Templemore), E Looby (Aherlow); C English (Ardfinnan), K Flannery (Galtee Rovers), K Burke (Fethard); N Costigan (Cahir), S Finnane (Galtee Rovers), S Keating (Clonmel Commercials).
K Delaney (Templemore) for K O’Dwyer (27); A Dwyer (Thurles Sarsfields) for Keating (HT).
J Mullins (Limerick).