THE Kilkenny under-16 camogie team have an All-Ireland final in their sights as they get ready to take on Dublin this weekend.
Despite opening their campaign with defeat to Tipperary (2-9 to 1-11), the Kittens have roared back. Now, they are one game away from a national final.
Following the loss to Tipp, Kilkenny bounced back in fine style when they easily swept Cork aside (3-16 to 0-9) with a scintillating display. Jenny Clifford was sensational, scoring 0-3 from play, and getting involved in all three goals as they got their All-Ireland hopes firmly back on track.
Kilkenny’s encounter down in Limerick was hard-fought. Having led 3-5 to 0-6 early in the second-half, they appeared to be well on their way to victory, but a gritty Limerick got to within two points.
Kilkenny closed out the game with consecutive points in quick succession from Katie Nolan and substitute Megan Walsh, while goalkeeper Kirsty Maher pulled off some important saves as they won by 4-7 to 1-12.
While Galway play Cork in the other semi-final, Kilkenny are not looking beyond Sunday’s opponents.
Dublin recorded an emphatic victory over Clare 3-13 to 0-8. The fact they ran Galway so close will certainly guard the Kilkenny management team against any complacency that may transpire.
It’s a Kilkenny team full of heart and character in abundance, and as they have proven against both Tipperary and Limerick. Kirsty Maher has been rock solid in goal, while defensively Aine Gannon and Deirdre Walsh are vying for player of the championship honours.
Mary O’Connell took a heavy knock against Limerick, but hopefully she will have made a full recovery for the Dublin challenge.
Alice Talbot is a tireless worker, while in attack Jenny Clifford, Edel Coonan and Katie Nolan, along with the strong running and direct play of Michaela Kenneally will prove a handful for any defence.