FOR almost all of the first half, this curtain raiser seemed to be heading Kinawley’s way, the Brian Boru’s dominating play but crucially, failing to translate plentiful possession into scores.
This was to prove costly as the game turned in second half. Knockninny playing with increasing confidence and flair as they dominated the last quarter to finish convincing winners and lift their first ever senior title. Controlling possession from the start, aided by the crossfield wind, Kinawley led 0-3 to 0-0 at the water break with Caoimhe Hamilton, Naomi Cathcart and Rion McKenna scores the only return for a plethora of chances.
In the second quarter a different sort of pattern started to emerge as a 21st minute pointed Naoise McKiernan free eventually got Knockninny off the mark.
Kinawley didn’t register another score until a 29th minute Chloe McManus point.
Right on the stroke of half time, Knockninny got the tremendous boost of an equalising goal, Cathy McCaffrey finishing a strong Alannah Maguire run by deflecting to the net to leave it level at 1-1 to 0-4.
Kinawley began the second half with a further three wides before a 36th minute McKiernan point edged Knockninny in front for the first time.
They extended their lead when a McCaffrey effort from the left sideline bounced over the bar, but Kinawley grabbed a goal just on second break, Naomi Cathcart crashing a close range free to the net for a 1-4 to 1-3 lead.
It was then that McKiernan’s free taking expertise really came into its own, converting braces either side of a Molly Flanagan single from play. McCaffrey then pointed again to leave it 1-9 to 1-4 by the 54th minute.
After a Kinawley point by substitute Keyleigh Magee was speedily cancelled by McKiernan, the winners struck for a second goal. Alanna Maguire netting in the 57th minute from a surging McKiernan run.
That was that, another Magee point in injury time was of little consequence. Final score Knockninny 2-10 Kinawley ‘B’ 1-6.
Knockninny; Maeve Mooney; Amy Clarke, Katie Shannon; Niamh Boyle, Ciara Clarke, Molly Flanagan (0-1); Alanna Leonard, Ellen McCaffrey; Alanna Maguire (1-0); Ciara McCaffrey, Riona Donegan; Naoise McKiernan (0-7, 5f); Cathy McCaffrey (1-2). Sub; Lauren Hughes.
Kinawley; Shauna Baxter; Antoinette McCusker, Niamh McGovern; Orla Leonard, Aine Drumm, Sadie Keenan; Meabh Morris, Caoimhe Hamilton (0-1); Chloe McManus (0-1), Lauren Murphy, Naomi Cathcart (1-1); Gemme McCaffrey, Rion McKenna (0-1). Subs; Kate Murphy, Keyleigh Magee (0-2), Kieva Gilleece, Shauna Melanaphy.
Referee; Shane McGoldrick.
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