Risteárd Ó Fuaráin reports on Kerry’s narrow 0-9 to 0-6 defeat at the hands of Wexford over the weekend
Following their opening game at home to Westmeath when the Kingdom were unlucky not to get a share of the spoils, Kerry welcomed Wexford to Tom Healy Park, Abbeydorney on Saturday. Prior to throw-in, Áine O’Connor replaced Olivia Dineen on the Kerry Team and Wexford started as selected. Kerry played against a strong breeze in the first half but they opened the scoring in the 2nd minute when Patrice Diggin converted a free. A Wexford attack in the 8th minute was thwarted by a brilliant block from Aoife Behan. Wexford opened their account in the 9th minute when full forward Farren Byrne scored from play. Ellen Roche converted a free in the 12th minute and Jackie Horgan was unlucky not to find the Wexford net in the 17th when her dipping shot came back off the upright. Wexford launched another attack in the 18th minute but a brilliant intervention by Sara Murphy resulted in the attempt drifting wide. Ellen Roche converted two frees in the 26th and 29th minutes. She was wide with another attempt in the 30th but regained her accuracy in the 2nd minute of injury time. Jessica Harding from play in the 5th minute of injury time and Ellen Roche from a free in the 6th and final minute left the halftime score at Wexford 0-7 Kerry 0-1.
Kerry had the aid of a strong breeze in the 2nd half and started strongly with a number of promising chances but the swirling wind was affecting accuracy. Patrice Diggin converted a free in the 43rd minute but Emma Walsh replied from play in the 45th. Alannah Whelan was replaced by Clodagh Walsh, Jessica Fitzell by Eilish Harrington and Elaine Ryall replaced Julianne O’Keeffe. Patrice Diggin put just 4 points between the sides when she converted two frees in the 52nd and 53rd minutes. In the 56th minute Kerry were awarded a penalty and Patrice Diggin’s low shot was deflected over the bar to leave a goal between the sides. The same player reduced the margin to two points in the 1st minute of injury time. Megan Weir replaced Jackie Horgan. Kerry gave it their all but it was Ellen Roche who had the final say with the last puck of the game to leave the final score Wexford 0-9 Kerry 0-6. Kerry will be bitterly disappointed to have left Abbeydorney empty handed but this was another solid performance by Kerry with the girls putting together some lovely flowing passages of camogie and they now look forward to a trip to Armagh.
Kerry Team and Scorers:
Aoife Fitzgerald, Liz Houlihan, Niamh Leen (Captain), Michelle Costello, Patrice Diggin (0-6f), Sara Murphy, Aoife Behan, Áine O’Connor, Rachel McCarthy, Laura Collins, Julianne O’Keeffe, Jackie Horgan, Alanna Whelan, Jessica Fitzell, Bríd Horan.
Substitutions (All 2nd half): Clodagh Walsh for Alannah Whelan, Eilish Harrington for Jessica Fitzell, Elaine Ryall for Julianne O’Keeffe, Megan Weir for Jackie Horgan.