LADIES GAA | St Kevin’s have too much firepower for Kilkerley/Hill combination

Louth Ladies League Division Two Final 2017
St Kevin’s 3–11 Kilkerley/Dowdallshill 2–8

The St Kevin’s team celebrate their win Louth Ladies Division Two final win. PICTURES: WARREN MATTHEWS
Left: The St Kevin’s team. Right: Dowdallshill/Kilkerley

St Kevin’s took the Louth Ladies Division Two League Title back to Philipstown after a hard fought six-point victory over the Dowdallshill/Kilkerley selection in Tallanstown on Sunday.

The Kevin’s had to work hard for this success as the combination outfit played with conviction and plenty of quality but in the end Paddy Gregory’s charges were fully deserving of their win.

Indeed, it was the underdogs who took an early lead when Jade McKeown fired over after just 20 seconds but the mid-Louth side replied with points from Paula Murray and Susan Byrne to lead by the fifth minute.

Action from the 2017 Louth Ladies League Division Four final. PICTURES: WARREN MATTHEWS

St Kevin’s then took a firm grip on the game as they hit two goals in as many minutes. The first came when a Susan Byrne penalty found the corner of the net despite the best efforts of Una Pearson, who got a hand to the ball but couldn’t prevent it going over the line.

That was followed up by a brilliant Paula Murray goal, the Louth forward watching her superb shot fly high into the net from 25 metres.

For the next five minutes the Kevin’s put the Kilkerley/Dowdallshill goal under siege with Katie Matthews hitting a post and Una Pearson denying both Grainne Murray and Claire Bolger with fine saves.

Action from the 2017 Louth Ladies League Division Four final. PICTURES: WARREN MATTHEWS

A Katie Matthews point made it 2–3 to 0–2 after 17 minutes but a Caragh Brady point three minutes later heralded the start of a strong Kilkerley/Dowdallshill comeback.

They received a boost when referee Paul Burke awarded them a penalty as a defender was penalised for a foot-block on Brady and Emma Singleton stepped up to blast the spot kick to the back of the net.

Further points by the impressive Caragh Brady (0–2) and Leah Hoey left the sides level, 2–3 to 1–6, at the break.

Louth Ladies County Board chairman Dermot Woods presents the Louth Ladies League Division Four trophy to St Kevin’s captain Susan Byrne. PICTURE: WARREN MATTHEWS

The Kevin’s resumed in determined fashion and were back in front when Murray took a pass from Eleanor Smyth and fired a fantastic shot past Una Pearson from all of 30 yards.

Further points from Byrne (0–3) Murray and Maguire gave the Philipstown girls a commanding 3–08 to 1–07 lead midway through the half.

However, never say die Kilkerley/Dowdallshill were thrown a lifeline when Emma Singleton powerfully burst through the defence and buried a low shot to back of the net.

Action from the 2017 Louth Ladies League Division Four final. PICTURES: WARREN MATTHEWS

St Kevin’s never panicked and they replied with points of their own from county stars Aoife Gregory and Paula Murray to ensure the win and gain promotion to next season’s top division.

Best for the winners were Sarah Mulroy, Laura Butterly and Eimear Murray in defence, Eleanor Smyth and Susan Byrne in midfield while Paula Murray was a constant threat in attack with Aoife Gregory and Claire Bolger.

For Kilkerley/Dowdallshill, Una Pearson, Janine Kelly, Claire Lennon, Emma Singleon, Jade McKeown and Caragh Brady all had a fine match.

Action from the 2017 Louth Ladies League Division Four final. PICTURES: WARREN MATTHEWS

This win for St Kevin’s was made all the sweeter after an agonising one point defeat to St Fechin’s in the 2016 final.

ST KEVIN’S: Cliodhna Duffy, Laura Butterly, Sarah Mulroy, Donna Farrely, Courtney Dowling, Eimear Murray, Caoimhe Matthews, Eleanor Smyth, Susan Byrne (1–4), Grainne Murray, Aoife Gregory (0–1), Katie Matthews (0–1), Claire Bolger, Paula Murray (2–3), Ellen Butterly. Subs used: Roisin Maguire (0–1), Alanna Dowling, Niamh Murray.

KILKERLEY/DOWDALLSHILL: Una Pearson, Pamela McDonnell, Aideen McGahon, Fiona Lennon, Janine Kelly, Carrie Keenan, Emma Singleton (2–1), Sinead Woods, Jade McKeown (0–1), Claire Lennon, Rachel McNally, Leah Hoey (0–1), Emily Norton (0–2, 2f), Caragh Brady (0–3).

REFEREE: Paul Burke.

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