NEIGHBOURS Kilkenny and Carlow will begin their ladies football junior All-Ireland campaign with a local derby in Tinryland on Sunday (throw-in 2pm).
The sides last met in the National league in March, when the Cats grabbed the win with an injury-time goal. They will be hoping for the same result this weekend, when a win could secure at least an All-Ireland quarter-final berth.
The junior series is made up of two groups, with Wexford, Wicklow, Derry and Offaly in Group A. The top two sides in group A will advance to the All-Ireland semi-finals along with one team from Group B, which is made up of Kilkenny, Carlow and Louth. The runners-up will host New York in a quarter final on the weekend of August 27/28.
Manager Eoin Hennessy will look to Aine Sheehy, Grainne Daly and Jamie O’Sullivan to keep Kilkenny’s goal intact while Jenny Reddy, Alice Farrell and Yvonne McGrath have been scoring well in the senior club championship. Kilkenny’s defence will have to keep a tight leash on Sinead Doyle and Leah Mullins, while Aine Kinsella will be commanding in the Carlow full-back line.
Kilkenny had another team in action in Carlow during the week, when an under-12 side entertained the crowds during the Leinster ladies football finals at Dr Cullen Park. Wicklow claimed the junior title over Wexford and Laois grabbed a late goal to snatch victory from Meath in the senior decider.
At half-time under-12 selections from each county played a ten minute game, with Kilkenny represented for the fifth year in succession. The girls were presented with a set of gear and played an entertaining game against Carlow.
The Kilkenny under-12 panel was Laura Tynan (Kilkenny City Girls), Shauna Valentine (Kilkenny City Girls), Donna Walsh (Freshford), Kate Drennan (Thomastown), Iona Gardiner (Thomastown), Danielle Morrissey (Freshford), Sophie Gordon (Freshford), Rebecca Nevin (Thomastown), Niamh Costigan (Thomastown), Ciara Delaney (Kilkenny City Girls) and Hannah Scott (Kilkenny City Girls).
Railyard and Freshford finished all square (0-6 to 0-6) in the opening round of the senior football championship.
Freshford were expected to come away with a win when they travelled to face newly promoted Muckalee in the second round. Muckalee, however, made life difficult for the reigning senior champions and Freshford had to settle for another draw (1-10 to 3-4).
Thomastown faced Railyard at Moneenroe and led by two points midway through the second half but an Emma Baldwin goal saw Railyard take a one point lead. Two Aine Lannon points either side of a Niamh Bolger score saw Thomastown regain the advantage and hold on for a hard earned 0-10 to 1-5 win.
The next round of games, which will be held on August 1, will see Muckalee and Railyard square up in Moneenroe while Freshford will have a tough assignment in Thomastown.
The Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership (KRSP) are running a multi sports camp this week at Loreto in conjunction with local football, basketball and athletic clubs. Bookings are now being taken for the second camp which will be held in Thomastown from August 15 to 19. The camp, which is open to girls and boys from 8 to 15 years, will feature Gaelic football and athletics events. Bookings to the KRSP, tel 056-7720870.
Thomastown, Piltown and Freshford took part in a girls’ under-14 football blitz in Freshford on Saturday. The next blitz for under-12 and under-14 teams will be held on Saturday, August 13 in Thomastown. Clubs who wish to enter a team can contact Kilkenny ladies football or KRSP.