TG4 All Ireland Junior Championship Group A – Rnd 1
By Martin Mannering
A combination of profligacy and sheer bad luck saw Lancashire Ladies allow a golden chance of victory slip through their fingers when they came up agonisingly short against Kilkenny at a sunbathed Old Bedians on Sunday.
Four times the home side saw goal bound attempts come off the post, and another off the crossbar, while numerous other efforts were cut out by last-gasp defending by the Kilkenny defence.
Throw in three calamitous errors by an otherwise solid back line, which gifted Kilkenny their three goals, and the picture is clear.
Despite conceding the opening score to a Caolfhinn ni hAargainn point, Lancashire took a firm grip on early proceedings and opened up a 0-4 to 0-1 lead before ten minutes had elapsed.
Cliona Gannon drew the home side level three minutes in and Aoibhinn Daly added another straight from the kick-out.
The outstanding Roisin Colleary got the next two as they totally dominated and in between all this Danielle Farrell had two goal bound shots blocked on the line, one of which was turned onto the post and cleared.
Kilkenny slowly began to work their way into the game with the excellent Ailis O Shea leading the charge from midfield.
Jessie Carroll behind her and Katie Nolan in front of her also grew in prominence as time wore on. It was the latter who kicked her side’s second point 12 minutes in, but Colleary responded with a sublime effort from wide on the right wing.
KILKENNY: Lynn Bernie; Mary Beamish, Aine Sheehy, Jennifer Norris; Rebecca Brennan, Jessie Carroll, Michelle Farrell; Ailis O Shea, Angela Kinneally; Roisin Allen, Katie Nolan (0-5, 3f), Aoife Nally (1-0); Caolfhinn Ni hArgain (0- 2), Ann Prendergast (1-0), Sinead McGrane (0-1). Subs: Lauren Ballantine (1-0) for McGrane, Blanaid Galway for Nally.
LANCASHIRE: Lisa Pritchard; Clare Shaw, Katie McMullan, Bronagh Grimes; Niamh Cahill (0- 1), Nicola Hurst, Siobhan Polly; Sharon Kelly, Kayleigh Thompson; Nicola Lavery, Aoibhinn Daly (0-2, 1f), Cliona Gannon (0-1); Danielle Farrell (0-1), Roisin Colleary (1-4), Aoife Jacob. Subs: Roisin McCafferty (0-2) for Jacob, Claire Fitzpatrick for Thompson, Cathy O Reilly for Grimes.