Ladies begin search for new manager
LIDL NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION 1
Dublin 1-16 Kerry 1-11
IT was a tough 10 days for the Kerry Senior Ladies footballers.
First of all they had to deal with the loss of the three points they garnered in their victory over Mayo in the Lidl National Football league due to an unregistered player and then defeat to Westmeath on the following Sunday saw them relegated to Division 2 for the 2019 season.
To add insult to injury they were rocked by the resignation of their manager Graham Shine on the following Wednesday. Shine met with the players last Wednesday night, and after what’s been described as an honest and frank discussion, he informed them of his decision to resign from his managerial post due to business and personal reasons. Shine has opened a gym in Listowel and felt that he hadn’t the time to commit to the Kerry ladies.
Shine had come in to manage the Kerry senior team on the back of two Under 16 All Ireland victories and in his first year in charge with the senior team he led the side to a Munster Championship title with a 1-14 to 3-6 victory over Waterford.
After a quarter-final victory over Armagh, Kerry were firmly put to the sword by a rampant Dublin in the All Ireland semi final and suffered a 5-10 to 0-11 loss. They had a poor outing in this years league, and defeats to Cork, Galway, Monaghan, Donegal and Westmeath saw them drop to Division 2.
The loss of some key personnel for numerous reasons throughout the league campaign didn’t help their cause and Kerry made the journey to the DCU sportsgrounds with just eighteen players on the panel.
Some members of Shine’s management team took charge of the squad for last Saturday’s game with Tim Kennelly, Tom Dillon and strength and conditioning coach Aoife Newell looking over affairs. They were joined by Ciaran McCabe who coached the team for the 2017 season.
Dublin were expected to win the game quite easily but the Kerry squad found strength in adversity to almost shock the reigning All Ireland champions. Kerry were level with Dublin on 5 occasions inside the opening 25 minutes and more than held their own in a spirited display.
Kerry led three times inside the opening 16 minutes, before Dublin came back to draw level, with Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh, Amanda Brosnan and Sarah Houlihan on target. Andrea Murphy was playing her best game in a Kerry jersey and her energetic display was causing Dublin all sorts of problems.
Emily Flanagan, Hannah O’Neill and Nicole Owens were on target for Dublin, before Niamh McEvoy levelled the tie at 0-5 a piece after 25 minutes, just after Flanagan had her goal shot superbly blocked by Kerry keeper Laura Fitzgerald.
This kick-started a dominant spell for Dublin, which saw them score 1-2 unanswered, with the goal coming from substitute Sinead Goldrick while McEvoy added a further point. A brace of Houlihan scores helped cut the gap, but Dublin led 1-6 to 0-7 at the break.
Dublin got the second half to a great start with Siobhan Woods and McEvoy contributing to a trio of unanswered scores on the restart. Ní Mhuircheartaigh and Houlihan kept Kerry in touch and Ni Mhuircheartaigh scored a good goal in the 45th minutes to bring Kerry to within two points of their opponents.
Dublin added three more points, however, with Siobhan Killeen scoring two and they finished as five point victors.
After the game Kerry captain Sarah Houlihan said that she was very pleased with the way her side put it up to Dublin.
“It’s never easy to play Dublin at the best of times, and after the week we had we had to produce a performance. There was great pride shown in the Kerry jersey out there today and we gave our best display of 2018. With a bit of luck we might have snatched a victory, but Dublin had a strong bench and it told in the finish.”
Houlihan was non committal on who she would like to see take over the Kerry managerial reigns.
“We have about eight weeks to the Munster Championship so it’s important that we get someone quickly. There are a few players that could come back to the panel and hopefully someone will come in that can drive us on to the next level. Representing your county is a huge honour and as players we want to do the best that we can for Kerry with someone that is given the management job for the right reasons.”
Meanwhile Kerry LGFA Assistant Secretary Donal Rahilly said that they were in the process of looking at candidates for the management job.
“First of all I’d like to thank Graham Shine for the commitment that he has given to the Kerry Ladies,and I’d like to wish him the best of luck with his new business. We are looking at a number of possibilities at the moment, but we want to make sure that we get the right person for the role.
“In the meantime the interim management will continue with the girls and we will ensure that preparations continue for the upcoming Munster Championship.”
DUBLIN: Ciara Trant; Kate Fitzgibbon, Deirdre Murphy, Laura McGinley; Aoife Kane(0-1), Muireann Ní Scanaill, Lucy Collins; Siobhan McGrath, Tarah O’Sullivan; Hannah O’Neill(0-1), Nicole Owens(0-2), Emily Flanagan(0-1); Julia Buckley(0-1), Niamh McEvoy (0-5,4f), Rebecca McDonnell Subs: Sinead Goldrick (1 goal) for Lucy Collins (22); Siobhan Woods(0-2) for McDonnell (HT); Siobhan Killeen(0-2) for Buckley (HT); Leah Caffrey for McGinley (HT); Katie Murray for Ni Scanaill (HT); Lyndsay Davey(0-1) for Flanagan (46); Shannon Murtagh for Fitzgibbon (47); Heather Smith for Trant (47)
KERRY: Laura Fitzgerald; Laoise Coughlan, Aislinn Desmond, Aisling O’Connell; Amy Foley, Sarah Murphy, Eilish O’Callaghan; Lorraine Scanlon, Eilish O’Leary; Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh(1-3,1f), Sarah Houlihan(0-7,6f), Andrea Murphy; Siobhan Burns, Amanda Brosnan(0-1), Caoimhe O’Sullivan Subs: Meabh Barry for O’Callaghan (HT).
REFEREE: Niall McCormack (Laois)