THERE was Leinster Blitz glory for the Kilkenny ladies Gaelic footballers, but the county went so close to securing a provincial double.
Playing in the first under-14 blitz of the year the county fielded two teams in Carlow recently. The B team claimed the Division Three title while the A team qualified for the Division Two decider but lost out to a physically stronger Westmeath side. The day saw sunshine, rain, thunder and lightning but the one consistent feature throughout was the superb standard of football served up at Carlow GAA grounds.
Kilkenny B hit the ground running when they racked up a 9-1 to 4-4 win over Carlow before moving on to face Louth in the Division Three final.
Hungry for goals, the Kittens proved the Carlow result was not a one-off. Kate Drennan, Tara Clifford, Aine Murphy and Nicole Carter all rattled the net to give Kilkenny a 4-3 to 0-1 half-time lead.
Louth grabbed two goals after the break but further scores from Ciara Deely (1-0), Kate Drennan (1-0) Aine Murphy (1-3) and Rebecca Nevin (0-1) saw Kilkenny win 7-7 to 3-3 and claim the under-14 Division Three title for the third time in four years.
Captain Rebecca Nevin was presented with the Division Three Cup by Leinster president Marie Hickey.
Kilkenny B - Ciara Deeley, Kate Drennan, Aoife Naddy, Rebecca Nevin, Ailish O’Shea, Beth Behan, Izzy Carey, Nicole Carter, Tara Clifford, Ciara Curran, Brianna Mallon, Aoife Moore, Aine Murphy, Jennifer O’Keeffe, Claire Kelly, Ruby Harvey, Christine Caldbeck, Anna Robinson, Laura Tynan.
Kilkenny A were grouped with Dublin B, Offaly and Westmeath. The Cats showed no fear when they faced the mighty Dubs in their opening game where, despite a late Dublin goal, Kilkenny claimed their first win on a 1-3 to 1-1 scoreline.
On a high, Kilkenny scored a similar result in game two, where they withstood a late Offaly fightback to hold on for a 1-6 to 2-1 win. As Westmeath had also secured two wins, and with weather conditions worsening, a straight final was held between Kilkenny and Westmeath.
The sides were level at 0-1 apiece at half-time, but Westmeath made better use of the wind in the second half to claim a 0-6 to 0-1 win and the Division Two title.
Kilkenny A - Aoife Cantwell, Ava Comerford, Saoirse Comerford Liston, Niamh Deeley, Ciara Delaney, Neasa Galwey, Ria Lawson, Emily McCarthy, Caitlin Moore, Danielle Morrissey, Eadaoin Murphy, Aobha O’Gorman, Jenny O’Keeffe, Caoimhe O’Shea, Hannah Scott, Niamh Sheehy, Michelle Teehan, Shauna Valentine, Lauren Valentine, Becky Walsh, Sophie O’Dwyer.
There was disappointment for the under-14s when their Leinster final meeting with Longford was called off at the weekend.
The team were due to face Longford in the provincial decider on Sunday, but were notified by Leinster Council on Friday last that the game would not go ahead. It is hoped that a new date will be arranged for the end of the month.