Monday 24 October 2016

Super Sixteens have much to be proud of

Young Dubs lose nothing in defeat to highly impressive Kingdom

Another magical match for the Nenagh Library.

McDonagh Park has produced some Tipp thrillers over the years.

The All-Ireland U16A Championship semi-final was another corker.

In the end, Kerry secured their ticket, 3-14 to 3-9, against Dublin.

"They deserved it. They were the better team on the night," remarked Dublin manager, Pat Kane.

But what a display the Dubs delivered. And as Pat related: "We weren't a mile away."

Kerry went in as favourites. They had recorded two handsome wins over Cork in the Munster Championship.

"Kerry are a very good side. They are well-drilled. And they earned the victory," added Pat.

And earn it they certainly did. Dublin's spirit had their followers on their feet.

They used up every cent of credit. And that has been their calling card all season.

"We only assembled the squad quite late on," outlined Pat.

"We were having trials three weeks before the Championship.

"Not much was expected, but these girls exceeded all expectations.

"The team just grew and grew. And we had a very good Leinster campaign.

"It was the attitude of the girls that made it so enjoyable. They were just such a terrific group to work with.

"I know that can be a cliché and everybody says the same thing, but in this case it's definitely true.

"Every member of the squad was a credit to themselves, their families and their clubs.

"It was just such a joy for us as a management team to be working with such a lovely panel.

"They were so dedicated. They did everything that was asked of them…..and more."

Pat's managerial colleagues were Lee Moroney (St Anne's), Stephen Healy (O'Dwyer's), Clare Ryan (Clanna Gael Fontenoy) and Deirdre Colgan (St Margaret's).

Pat is a Clanns man, as is another Raytown hero, Martin McDonnell, the Dublin ladies football minor manager.

Pat states that many of the 16's will progress to play for the minors, and the seniors in time.

"Yes, there's many future Dublin players there. There's no doubt about that.

"And the pleasing thing is that twelve of the U16 squad are eligible again for the grade next season."

Following the hour, both teams earned high praise. And Kerry will now meet Galway in the final.

"We were pretty confident going in to the game, and we had our chances coming down the back straight.

"We didn't take them, but in saying that, you'd have to say the result was the right one.

"For the neutral, I'm sure it was a dinger of a match, but you don't be thinking like that on the sideline.

"It didn't go our way, but I think the girls can be proud of themselves and look back on a very good year."

The campaign included the county's sixth successive Leinster U16 Championship crown.

"We had a marvellous run in Leinster. We didn't lose a match and we put up some big scores."

They sure did, as the Leinster campaign saw them score a whopping 28 goals and 67 points.

They had Group wins against Meath, Kildare, Laois, Wexford, Offaly and Westmeath.

And in the Leinster final in Clane, they defeated Meath again.

It was another excellent match, and the Blues had two goals to spare at the finish.

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