Kilkerrin-Clonberne crowned All-Ireland club football champions

Kilkerrin-Clonberne players celebrate after winning the 2022 LGFA All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship final against Donaghmoyne of Monaghan in Dublin. Photo:  Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Kilkerrin-Clonberne players celebrate after winning the 2022 LGFA All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship final against Donaghmoyne of Monaghan in Dublin. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Kilkerrin-Clonberne have been crowned senior ladies' All-Ireland champions for the second time in a row.

Having recovering from All-Ireland final heartbreak in 2019 against Mourneabbey of Cork by beating that same opposition in a revenge match in 2021, Kilkerrin-Clonberne have now reached new heights.

Ten county titles in a row, five Connacht titles in a row, and now two All-Ireland’s on the bounce. Kilkerrin-Clonberne ladies will go down as one of the best club teams there has been, and they do not look like they are near finished, given the age profile of their squad.

At the weekend they produced a comprehensive 0-13 to 0-07 victory over Monaghan’s Donaghmoyne.

"A great day for us," said manager Wille Ward."The game went very much as we hoped it would go. Most of our match-ups, we got them right, and our game plan worked pretty well.

“They [Donaghmoyne] kept fighting and kept going, as they would. They’re a classy team, great tradition, great experience, and they kept pushing everywhere they could. I thought overall our team had a good combined effort. It was particularly a great defensive effort.”

From the first minute of the game Willie Ward’s team looked like the stronger outfit, and for the entirety of the contest, their Monaghan counterparts were unable to match Kilkerrin-Clonberne’s athleticism, intensity and skill level.

There were two players who epitomised their superiority, wing forward Olivia Divilly and centre back Nicola Ward. Divilly was dynamic throughout the game and Donaghmoyne were not able to cope with her pace and trickery. Ward powered through the middle, particularly early in the contest, and she set the tone for the day.

The game began with Kilkerrin-Clonberne hurtling out of the blocks, scoring four unanswered points in the first five minutes of play. The first was grabbed by young corner forward Eva Noone from a placed ball, and she showed just how capable she is at this level and she caught the eye all day.

The potent Chloe Miskell at full forward scored the next point, set up by one of Nicola Ward’s trademark marauding runs as Willie Ward’s team suffocated their opposition in the opening exchanges.

Olivia Divilly scored her first point of the day moments later from the right wing, while Noone raised her second white flag on five minutes to leave the score 0-04 to 0-00.

Donaghmoyne eventually caught their breath and managed to get on the scoreboard in the 10th minute through wing forward Amy Garland. Louise Ward responded for Kilkerrin-Clonberne again in the 17th minute to bring their lead back to four.

Donaghmoyne looked as though they were finally finding their feet and produced a quick brace of points by their energetic midfielder Cora Courtney to cut the gap to just two. Just before the break however, Kilkerrin-Clonberne spun together another three points which was what their dominance deserved.

Lynsey Noone followed her younger sister’s act by getting her first point from wing-forward, and Olivia Divilly added another couple of points from frees.

The teams entered half-time with the scores 0-08 to 0-03, a lead which the Galway champions never really looked like relinquishing.

Willie Ward’s team sucked the life out of their opposition at the beginning of the second half and effectively killed the game when Olivia Divilly and Chloe Miskell added two more points at the beginning of the second half.

Donaghmoyne were handed something of a lifeline in the 41st minute when Hannah Noone was sin-binned for a shoulder charge, but the Monaghan champions failed to capitalise on the scoreboard.

Miskell and Divilly with two, stretched Kilkerrin-Clonberne’s lead to nine with five minutes remaining. Donaghmoyne managed three more points in the latter stages, but they were merely a consolation.

Olivia Divilly was player of the match on the day, but there were stars all over the pitch for Kilkerrin-Clonberne. It is hard to see the juggernaut slowing any time soon.

Scorers- Kilkerrin-Clonberne: O Divilly 0-5 (3f ), C Miskell 0-4, L Ward 0-2, E Noone (f ), L Noone 0-1 each. Donaghmoyne: C Courtney 0-3, R Courtney 0-2, A Garland, C McConnell 0-1 each.

Kilkerrin-Clonberne: L Murphy; C Costello, S Gormally, C Dunleavy; K Mee, N Ward, H Noone; S Divilly, L Finnegan; O Divilly, L Ward, L Noone; E Noone, A Morrissey, C Miskell.?Subs: N Divilly for Finnegan (47 ), S Fahy for Mee (52 ), M Flanagan for L Noone (53 ), Caitlin Boyle for Morrissey (58 ), Caoimhe Boyle for Miskell (59 ).

Donaghmoyne: L Martin; J Geoghegan, N Callan, A Callan; F Courtney, S Courtney, E Traynor; C Courtney, E McElroy; A Garland, R Courtney, S McConnell; C McConnell, L Garland, A Burns.?Subs: G Comiskey for A Burns, A McElroy for S McConnell (both 53 ), D Collier for A Callan, J Courtney for Geoghegan, S Burns for A Garland (all 59 ).

Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow ).


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