A THIRD provincial trophy in four years is the goal as the Kilkenny ladies Gaelic footballers prepare to do battle in Leinster this weekend.
The Kittens will take on Wicklow on Sunday in the Division 2A final. Kilkenny won the Division 2B title in 2010 and 2012 and will be hoping to add this crown to a collection which also includes Leinster under-14 blitz cups won in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Although many of last year’s side have since moved up to under-16 level trainer Eoin Hennessy has rebuilt his under-14 panel with considerable success. The girls finished top of their division, scoring five wins from five outings. Kilkenny beat Longford, Carlow, Offaly, Louth and Wexford to finish on maximum points but face an unknown quantity in Wicklow, who played in Division One.
Kilkenny’s route to the final has seen them combine a solid defence with a hard-working midfield. Players like Neasa Galwey, Emily McCarthy, Aobha O’Gorman and Blaithnead Galway have impressed, making life tough for the opposing attackers.
Up front Kilkenny boast an abundance of scoring talent with Ciara Delaney, Hannah Scott and Aoife Doyle showing the way with their speed and accuracy. Kilkenny also have plenty of strength on the line, with the strength and depth of the panel helping to propel them to the final.
The team will be gunning to get the better of Wicklow, a team they have not met at under-14 level for a number of years. The girls from the Garden County had a mixed bag of results in the group stages, losing to Dublin, Meath and Kildare. They turned the corner with a draw with Westmeath before beating Laois.
The final is expected to be played in Carlow on Sunday, with a 2pm throw-in.
Seven teams enjoyed an under-12 blitz, which was played in glorious sunshine, at the Nuncio Road on Saturday. Thomastown, Muckalee, Kilkenny City, Barrow Gaels, Piltown and two teams from Erin’s Own (Castlecomer) attended, playing three hours of non-stop football.
All are looking forward to the next under-12 outing which will be hosted by Muckalee in June. An under-10 blitz will be hosted by Erin’s Own on Saturday, June 22.
Kilkenny have entered the Leinster under-12 blitz series, the first of which will be held in Carlow on Saturday, June 15. It is hoped that two teams will be entered this year, with each team playing at least four games.
Training continues at James’s Park for the next two Sundays at 11am. Newcomers are welcome, but players must be registered with their local ladies football club.