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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 14 April 2021
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Star forward duo fire 4-6 as Kerry blitz Cavan to open championship campaign on a high

The Kingdom’s emphatic win capped a busy weekend of ladies football championship action.

Kerry’s Louise Ni Mhuireachtaigh starred for Kerry today (file pic).
Kerry’s Louise Ni Mhuireachtaigh starred for Kerry today (file pic).
Image: SPORTSFILE.

Kerry 5-14

Cavan 0-13

By Daire Walsh

LOUISE NÍ MHUIRCHEARTAIGH and Síofra O’Shea contributed a combined haul of 4-6 in Birr as Kerry underlined their TG4 All-Ireland senior championship credentials with an emphatic Group 1 triumph over Cavan.

Despite encountering some early resistance at the Offaly venue, the Munster outfit turned on the style with Ní Mhuircheartaigh and O’Shea in outstanding scoring form. Substitute Andrea Murphy – who plays her club football in the capital with Foxrock-Cabinteely – also shot a second-half goal to give manager Declan Quill food for thought ahead of next weekend’s crunch clash against provincial rivals Cork.

The Kingdom had broken the deadlock through a Danielle O’Leary point, before their Ulster counterparts fired back with similar efforts from Lauren McVeety and Aisling Gilsenan.

In response to Ní Mhuircheartaigh’s first score of the game, dynamic Cavan full-forward Aishling Sheridan superbly curled a left angled shot between the posts.

Nonetheless, the threat of the Kerry attack was beginning to grow and Ní Mhuircheartaigh added a point off her left foot in the ninth minute. Deadlocked at 0-3 apiece for the first-half water break, Kerry subsequently took control upon the resumption.

After gathering a direct ball into the square, O’Shea unleashed a superb strike past helpless Cavan goalkeeper Elaine Walsh.

Their tails were now up and following excellent combination play between O’Shea and Niamh Ní Chonchúir, Ní Mhuircheartaigh comfortably grabbed a second Kerry goal.

While the Breffni women reduced the gap to five with contributions from Donna English and Gilsenan, Ní Mhuircheartaigh and Lorraine Scanlon scores ensured the Kingdom were 2-7 to 0-6 ahead at the interval.

aishling-sheridan Collingwood AFLW player Aishling Sheridan is back in the Cavan jersey. Source: Tom Beary/INPHO

The final outcome was effectively placed beyond doubt within six minutes of the restart as Kerry added another brace of goals to their already substantial tally. Ní Mhuircheartaigh palmed to the net off a Hannah O’Donoghue pass and she later turned provider for a composed Murphy finish.

Cavan finally interrupted this scoring sequence courtesy of unanswered points by Gilsenan and the impressive English, only for Kerry to reply with another devastating blitz. Ní Mhuircheartaigh released O’Shea for her second goal of the tie on 44 minutes, preceding four points on the bounce from Eilis O’Leary, Scanlon, Fiadhna Tagney and O’Shea herself.

To their credit, Cavan did finish the contest in fine spirits. Gilsenan (two), substitute Emma Halton and Sheridan all found the range and can at least take this positive ending into their crunch encounter with Cork at the same venue in a fortnight’s time.

Scorers for Kerry: L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 2-4 (1f), S O’Shea 2-2, A Murphy 1-1, L Scanlon 0-2, F Tagney 0-2, D O’Leary 0-1, H O’Donoghue 0-1, E O’Leary 0-1.

Scorers for Cavan: A Gilsenan 0-5 (4f), A Sheridan 0-3, D English 0-2, L McVeety 0-1, G Sheridan 0-1, E Halton 0-1.

Kerry: C Butler; C Lynch, A Desmond, S Murphy; N Carmody, A O’Connell, C Murphy; L Scanlon, M O’Connell; D O’Leary, N Ní Chonchúir, A Galvin; H O’Donoghue, S O’Shea, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.

Subs: A Doherty for Lynch (15), A Murphy for D O’Leary (25), E O’Leary for O’Connell (43), F Tagney for Ní Mhuircheartaigh (48), M O’Connor for Ní Chonchúir (59).

Cavan: E Walsh; M Smith, S Lynch, J Moore; M Sheridan, N Keeneghan, E Corcoran; D English, C Dolan; C Finnegan, L McVeety, A Gilsenan; G Sheridan, A Sheridan, T O’Reilly.

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Subs: E Halton for Corcoran (h-t), H Smith for Lynch (38), Z Fay for Finnegan, H Fitzsimons for M Smith (both 40), R Dolan for O’Reilly (59).

Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow).

***

Dub v Don 1 Sinéad Goldrick starred as Dublin edged past Yvonne Bonner's Donegal last night.

Kerry now join All-Ireland three-in-a-row champions Dublin, 2019 finalists Galway and Ulster outfit Armagh in picking up opening weekend wins in the TG4 All-Ireland senior championship.

Recently-relegated Westmeath sent out a statement of intent in their first fixture at intermediate level, while 2019 finalists Meath, Wexford, Kildare and Laois also won in the second tier.

And there were wins for Wicklow and Limerick in the junior ranks.

This weekend’s ladies football results in full:

TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship

Armagh 6-16 Tyrone 3-13
Galway 1-15 Tipperary 1-14
Donegal 2-10 Dublin 2-13
Cavan 0-13 Kerry 5-14

TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Championship

Wexford 3-10 Offaly 1-8
Longford 2-6 Westmeath 9-9
Down 1-6 Meath 0-11
Clare 1-12 Kildare 2-11
Laois 5-8 Sligo 1-4

TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship

Fermanagh 1-2 Wicklow 0-9
Antrim 1-5 Limerick 2-8.

- Additional reporting from Emma Duffy.

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