THE Kilkenny under-16s ladies footballers will be hunting for provincial silverware when they face Offaly in the Leinster ‘C’ championship final at Graiguecullen on Saturday.
Grouped with Offaly, Westmeath and Carlow, Kilkenny advanced to the championship final by virtue of a 4-8 to 0-8 win over Westmeath while Offaly easily overcame Carlow. Westmeath and Carlow will contest the Shield final on Sunday.
Many of Kilkenny’s panel have advanced from last year’s under-14 set-up, a squad who claimed the Leinster title in a thriller against Louth. While Offaly will provide stern opposition on Saturday manager P.J. Whelan will look to Mary O’Connell, Sinead Whelan, Jane Walker and Aine Gannon to repeat their semi-final scoring feats and earn another under-age title for Kilkenny. Throw in at Graiguecullen is at 3.15pm and will follow the under-16 ‘A’ Shield final between Laois and Wexford.
A new-look Kilkenny will travel to Carlow on Saturday week for the Leinster under-14 blitz hoping to claim the Division Three title for the third year in a row. With the under-12 and under-14 sides training together since March the hard work has already paid off; the younger girls won the Division Three title at the Leinster under-12 blitz in May.
The under-14s have played two challenges in recent weeks against Carlow and have gained some good experience in preparation for their Leinster debut. The panel boasts players from Kilkenny City, Thomastown, Graignamanagh, Muckalee, Gowran, Windgap, Kilmanagh, Johnstown, Danesfort, Conahy, Freshford, Gowran and Skeoughvosteen. Captain Jane Walker will line out with the under-16 side on Saturday next in the Leinster final while players like Kate Drennan, Lauren Valentine, Niamh Deely, Neasa Galwey and Aobha O’Gorman are among those with a bright future in ladies football.
Following their blitz the girls will make the short trip back to Kilkenny to support the county junior side who face Wicklow in the opening round of the TG4 Leinster championship (venue to be confirmed).
Kilkenny Ladies Gaelic Football, in conjunction with Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership, have organised a series of juvenile blitz days for this Summer. The aim of these fun days is to increase participation in sport at a local level.
Thomastown, Freshford, Tullogher, Muckalee, Railyard, Mullinavat and James Stephens currently play football at adult level, while Thomastown, Piltown and Kilkenny City Girls also have juvenile sides. A number of areas have expressed an interest in taking part in juvenile blitzes for girls who are not yet involved with a club.
Any group not currently registered with Ladies Football who may be interested in participating in blitz days can contact Caitriona at KRSP, tel 056-7720870 or 087-9750501.
Current dates and venues for the blitz days are: Saturday, July 2 @ Kilkenny City (under-12 seven a-side); Saturday, July 16 @ Freshford (under-14 12 a-side); Saturday, August 13 @ Thomastown (under-12 and under-14).