Compiled by Declan Rooney
Kerry ladies manager Donal O’Doherty said his side are determined to reach the Lidl National Football League Division 2 semi-finals after their six-goal triumph over Wexford put them within a point of a slot in the last four.
Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh and Sarah Houlihan hit two goals each for the Kingdom girls in Mallow, as Fiona Rochford and Bernie Breen efforts were not enough for Wexford, who are still in with a chance of reaching the knock-out stages themselves.
“It was excellent,” said O’Doherty. “We went in four points up at half time and regrouped and the girls came out and wee absolutely amazing. They scored 3-4 in quick succession and finished off the game.
“We’re really happy. We have two games left against Tyrone away and against Cavan in Fitzgerald Stadium. We want to finish off the league with two wins and that should see us into the semi-final.
“Our aim at the start of the year was to make the final. That’s on track at the moment so were delighted.”
Kerry got off to a flying start as they raced into a 0-3 to 0-0 lead after three minutes, but they surged clear when Miriam O’Keeffe hit the net in the sixth minute.
But Wexford didn’t lie down and tagged on a couple of good scores, before they pulled to within a point after Rochford’s goal for the Leinster girls.
Ni Mhuircheartaigh kept Kerry in the ascendancy with a couple of scores as Wexford stayed in touch at the other end, but just before half-time Houlihan rattled the net for Kerry’s second goal, which put them 2-7 to 1-6 ahead at the break.
Any hopes that Wexford held disappeared when Ni Mhuircheartaigh and Fiadhna Tagney scored goals for Kerry inside the first six minutes of the second half to put the Kingdom into a ten-point lead. Ni Mhuircheartaigh bagged her second midway though the second half, and despite Breen responding for Wexford, Kerry wrapped up the win when Houlihan hit goal number six.
In the other Lidl NFL Division 2 game Clare made home advantage pay in Doonbeg as they claimed a 1-12 to 1-9 win over Laois. The O’Moore county were ahead at half-time by 1-5 to 1-4, but despite a good showing from Fiona Kelly in the Laois goal, Clare tagged on the points to secure victory.
Laois will play Division 3 football next season as they suffered a sixth straight loss in the competition, while Clare need a result against Waterford to boost their hopes of making the semi-finals, although Cavan or Wexford can still deny them.
In Division 3 Offaly have a real battle on their hands if they are to avoid relegation to Division 4 after Kildare’s strong second half gave them the win in Newbridge.
A goal from Ellen Dowling put Kildare in charge in the early stages at St Conleth’s Park, while Nessa Dooley and Jeniffer Byrne stretched their lead, which was 1-8 to 0-6 at half-time.
Marie Byrne gave Offaly hope after the restart with a quick point, but goals from Grace Clifford, Dooley and Ellen Dowling put Kildare in the mix for a spot in the semi-finals. They face Sligo in their final game, while Offaly need to beat Roscommon to have any hopes of avoiding relegation.
And in Division 4 Louth moved to the top of the standings after their double scores win over Carlow. Louth, Fermanagh, Carlow and Limerick are all on 12 points in the standings, but Darren Bishop’s side and Fermanagh have an extra game to play on their rivals.
The sides were tied at 0-7 each at half-time, but two quick goals after the restart helped Louth to the win.Tweet