Gaynor Cup Girls 16’s team take 7th spot

Kerry spot on to take 7th in 16’s Gaynor Cup:

The 2015 u16’s Gaynor Cup was the biggest and most competitive in the competitions history with 17 Leagues taking part.

Kerry were drawn in the Group of 5 which saw them playing 4 group games and 2 play-off games over the 3 days. The girls opened with a 2-1 win over Limerick County where Hannah O’Donoghue got both of the goals.

However they were unable to follow that up with a win against Clare in what was probably their only disappointing performance of the competition. Kerry conceded a goal in the second half and chased the game but were caught on the break to go down 2-0.

Kilkenny had been going well and were the next opponents for Kerry and the girls were excellent, recording a 3-0 win. Hannah O’Donoghue got another 2 with Leah Henry netting the other goal.

This set up as final Group game with Limerick County. Amazingly both teams were level on points with both on 6 from 3 games, were level on goal difference, goals scored and goals conceded which ensure a nail biting 50 minutes with both teams playing on adjacent pitches.

Kerry were up against North Tipperary and Limerick County were playing Kilkenny. It started very well for Kerry and they were 1-0 up early on and then just after half time added a second. At this stage Limerick County were drawing 1-1.

However in the last 10 minutes lady luck switched to the Limerick girls. They got the goal they needed to go ahead while North Tipp pulled one back against Kerry. However that would still see Kerry through.

North Tipp then threw everything at Kerry and heartbreakingly in the last minute grabbed an equaliser. With Limerick County winning they advanced to the Cup semi-final while Kerry were into the Plate semi-final and a battle for 6th to 8th positions – by far the best any Kerry girls side has done at the Gaynor competitions.

Kerry faced Waterford in the Plate semi-final and the game ended 0-0 and so into penalties. Unfortunately Kerry lost 3-2 with Leah Henry and Fiadhna Tagney on the mark. As an aside Limerick County were well beaten by the eventual competitions winners Cork in their semi-final.

Great credit is due to the Kerry girls and their management team of Donal Doherty and Carrolann Kissane as they picked themselves up for their final game against the NEC (North Eastern Counties).This game proved to be a cracker ending 2-2 with Fiadhna Tagney and Leah Henry scoring for Kerry.

And so another penalty shoot-out but this time Kerry were unerring scoring all 5 and as the NEC missed their last one Kerry secured a very creditable 7th spot and certainly created a platform for the teams competing in the coming years to match or better.

Kerry ended the tournament with a record of played 6, won 3, drew 1 and lost 2 with one of those being the penalty shoot-out defeat.

The Kerry 16’s Gaynor Cup squad: Carmel Looney, Mary Barry, Elaina Galvin, Rebecca Murphy, Fiadhna Tagney, Saoirse Kennedy, Elizabeth Mohan, Leah Henry, Isabella Stein, Catie Gunn, Hannah O’Donoghue, Maire Kennelly, Rebecca O’Mahony, Jessica Galvin, Rachel Mulvihill