Kerry/Donegal 0-17 Na Fianna 3-7
Kerry/Donegal had a slim one-point victory in the second Ladies game on Sunday but dominated the contest for long periods.
Goals made the game very uncomfortable for the winners as they had some tense moments in the dying minutes before they got over the finish line.
An eight-point onslaught in the first half was the foundation for the win, with Courtney Treanor tremendous. Her running gave the defense nightmares as she converted four frees and also had four points from play.
Kerry/Donegal dominated the first half with a pulsating performance but was not allowed to run away with the lead due to timely goals from Na Fianna, one at each end of the 30 minutes.
After a Treanor free opened the scoring, Brianna Tierney was at the end of a four player move when she toe pocked to the net after the ball went to ground. K/D was undaunted by the relapse and they roared down the pitch for a second Treanor point, this time from play immediately in the aftermath.
Kirby, Treanor with a brace and Ciara O’Neill added to the total, the last after a brilliant run by Keriylan O’Keefe set up the chance. Further scores from Linda McKeon, who was now coming alive in the middle in her first game for her new club, and Treanor again were followed by a punched goal effort from Denise Sorahan when McKeon laid the ball on a plate for the corner forward and emphasized the dominance of the combination side.
They also sandwiched a Tierney point with two clear cut goal chances, the first from McKeon went nail bitingly wide, while Treanor also had a good effort on the wrong side of the posts.
Anita McKenna had another point for the winners, but Heather Durkin grabbed the second Na Fianna goal before the break. Each side finished with points to leave the interval score 0-11 to 2-2.
Jenny Moran added to the lead to open the second half before finally Shauna Cleary escaped from Niamh Britton for a brace. K/D had an extended period in front of the Na Fianna goal but could not hit the target, although they won the kickout and outlet pass continually.
McKeon was leading by example, winning the ball and moving it forward persistently. They finally started to hit the target and had three of the next four scores with Treanor, two from O’Neill and McKenna all on the mark to counteract a long range Tierney effort. Lisa McIntyre also was forced to make a very good save from McKeon to keep her side in the contest.
Na Fianna had their best spell of the game in the last 10 minutes. They forced Deirdre Maher to make a very good stop from Tierney, before Kelly McCormack joined the attack and drove a screamer over.
After a Kirby point at the other end, a long speculative ball was sent to the square and managed to find its way to the net off the K/D keeper to narrow the gap to two, at 0-17 to 3-6.
They continued to attack and won a series of kickouts but had three wides to go alongside a final Tierney score to leave the minimum between the sides when the buzzer finally arrived to a thankful Kerry/Donegal side.
The victors had numerous stars, not least of which was excellent wing back Keriylan O’Keefe. Her runs were tremendous throughout while her tackling was tenacious.
Niamh Britton had an excellent first half and a very good hour -- safe hands, controlled passes out. Amanda McGovern is a very capable corner back bedside her.
Michelle McVann had a great battle with her opponent, while Linda McKeon did a power of work over the hour. Jenny Moran covered acres from the 11 slot with Ciara O’Neill taking her scores well; she also made life difficult for the defense on the way out. Courtney Treanor was brilliant especially in the first half as she meandered her way forward each time she got possession.
Lisa McIntyre kept Na Fianna in the game with two brilliant saves. It would have been over but for her. Shannon Spillane excelled as did Kelly McCormack, who covered a lot of ground with Moran but also handled the ball very well at the back. Margaret Brady continues to show that she will be a midfielder to reckon with for years to come in New York. very strong on the run.
Brianna Tierney was the scorer-in-chief and had a good hour despite being in the wars a couple of times. There are some big names still missing for Na Fianna so undoubtedly they will be back.
Na Fianna: 1 Lisa McIntyre, 2 Kayla Coughlin, 3 Stephanie Tierney, 4 Kiera O’Connor, 5 Shannon Spillane, 6 Kelly McCormack (0-1), 7 Laura Cooper, 8 Margaret Brady, 9 Heather Durkin (1-0), 10 Katie Murphy (1-0), 11 Brianna Tierney (1-0), 12 Sarah Tracey, 13 Mairead McNamara, 14 Shauna Cleary (0-2), 15 Niamh Kerins.
Kerry/Donegal: 1 Deirdre Maher, 2 Laura McMahon, 3 Niamh Britton, 4 Amanda McGovern, 5 Keriylan O’Keefe, 6 Michelle McVann, 7 Laura Neary, 8 Anita McKenna (0-2), 9 Linda McKeon (0-1), 10 Jenny Kirby (0-2), 11 Jenny Moran (0-2), 12 Ciara O’Neill (0-2), 13 Shanna Walsh, 14 Courtney Treanor (0-8), 15 Denise Sorahan.
Player of the Game: Keriylan O’Keefe (Kerry/Donegal).
Referee: Frank Brady.