THIS was always going to be a major test for the Kildare Ladies against Monaghan in the Bord Gais Energy NFL, at Ballykelly with visitors already having a win over Cork under their belts, a side that Kildare fell to.
It was Monaghan who tested the Kildare defence in the opening minutes and Lily Ray pulled off a fine save in the third minute.
Deirdre Gately opened the scoring for the Kildare girls in the fourth minute and in that early period Kildare coped well with the experienced Monaghan forward line with some great defensive spells of play particularly from Holton.
Denise Tierney added a second point for Kildare from a difficult angle before Catriona McConnell opened for Monaghan in the tenth minute bursting through the Kildare defence to take her point.
Therese McNally added a point for the Ulster side. Kildare moved the ball well from the backs to the forward line but it was hard work to get a score. Deirdre Gately popped up again for Kildare scoring a superb point from play. Monaghan scored 1-2 without reply in the following minutes with the goal coming from McConnell who found herself free on the edge of the square.
The following period saw the Kildare girls answer with 1-2 with a well taken goal from Noelle Earley. Donna Berry made a timed perfectly interception in the 24th minute to deny Mohan a score. Gately added a point for Kildare and two points came from Monaghans free-taker McNally making the half time score Kildare 1-5 Monaghan 1-5.
Monaghan got off to the better start in the second half bursting through the Kildare defence inside the opening 30 seconds with a fine point from the boot of Ciara McAnespie.
This was followed by a second Monaghan point in the first minute putting a gap of two points between the teams.
Noelle Earley added a point for Kildare in the third and midfielder Timmins added a point to level the game. This was to be Kildare’s last score of the game.
The Ulster side dominated the remainder of the half. Monaghans McConnell put her side ahead in the 9th minute. Accurate free-taker Therese McNally and McAnespie caused havoc for the Kildare defenders and there was a four point gap by the 18th minute.
Kildare struggled to get the ball to their half forward line and resorted to a defensive game against the Monaghan forward line.
The Ulster side added two further points before their top scorer McNally put the final nail in the coffin chipping Lily Ray who was caught off her line making the final scoreline Kildare 1-7 Monaghan 2-15.
Next up for Paul Kelly’s girls is Tyrone at home in Ballykelly at 2pm Sunday, March 13.
Special mention to Aislinn Dooley from the Suncroft club who was Kildare mascot for the day. Aislinn is ten years old and plays as a forward for her club. We hope to see her representing Kildare at senior level in the future. Well done Aislinn!
Lily Ray, Niamh Quinn, Aishling Savage, Donna Berry, Aisling Holton, Kate Leahy, Ciara Hogan, Maria Moolick, Joanna Timmins (0.01), Deirdre Gately (0-3), Aine Gately, Denise Tierney (0-1), Stacey Cannon, Noelle Earley (1-1), Catherine O’ Malley (0-1). Subs: Grace Clifford for Timmins (40 mins), Miriam Murphy for O’Malley (56 mins), Trish Delahunt for Hogan (58 mins), Paula Keatley for Leahy (59 mins)
Edel Corrigan, Isabel Kieran, Una McNally, Margaret Treanor, Lavina Connolly, Sharon Courtney, Aoife McAnespie (0-1), Amanda Casey, Cora Courtney, Nicola Fahy (0-1), Caoimhe Mohan (0-2), Therese McNally (1-6 5f), Ellen McCarron, Catriona McConnell (1-2 1f), Ciara McAnespie (0-3).