The setting for this final defied normal December weather conditions, brilliant sunshine and summer temperatures prevailed and the football and skills displayed by two evenly matched teams was a sight to behold.

Wholehearted endeavour, full-blooded commitment was the order of the day and a draw was a fitting result for both teams who played themselves to a standstill. Rathmore opened the scoring with a goal after four minutes, a free from centre half forward, Jacinta Murphy, found Laura Cahill who shot to the back of the net.

Shortly afterwards Killorglin's Brid Joy replied with a point to open Killorglins account. Play moved up and down the field but defences ruled supreme. In the 20th minute a long delivery by Killorglin's Gillian Foley took a deflection and ended up in the Rathmore net to put her side ahead 1-1 to 1-0. Rathmore s reply was instant. Jacinta Murphy who was proving a thorn in the Killorglin's defence was instrumental in setting up midfielder Breda Cremin to goal within a minute and restored Rathmore’s lead, which they held at half time 2-0 to 1-1. Rathmore bidding for their third title on the trot, added a point per Mary O’Keeffe immediately on the resumption to stretch their lead to 2-1 to 1-1.

Killorglin now hit their best patch and scored four points on the trot from Leaha Foley (1) and Maeve Tangney (3). Maeve’s third point gave her side the lead for the first time in the 36th minute.

Like the first half, defences dominating particularly prominent during this period were centre halfback, Mairead McCarthy for Rathmore, and Joanne Murphy at left half-back for Killorglin. An accidental clash, which resulted in Killorglin losing their captain Caroline Browne, right full-back in the 50th minute seemed to disrupt the Killorglin girls. The Rathmore forward seized the initiative and levelled matters in the 51st. minute per Mary O’Keeffe and they took the lead three minutes later with a well struck point by impressive forward Cathriona Desmond.

Tired limbs and cramps were the order of the day at this stage. Rathmore were denied by an excellent goalkeeper for Killorglin in Caroline O’Sullivan. In one last desperate attack Killorglin won a free and Maeve Tangney landed an excellent equaliser with a kick off the hands from 45 metres out that landed over the bar and on top of the net. It was a pressure kick hat any All-Star would be proud of. A further attempt a minute later from the same player failed as Rathmore’s Mairead McCarthy, with a Darragh O’Shea like catch on he goal, saved the day.
A draw was a fair result to a great sporting encounter and respective coaches Peter Clarke (Rathmore) and Jimmy Foley (Killorglin), can feel proud of their charges.

The eagerly awaited replay is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 19 December at 1.00p.m. Referee: Nora Hallissey (Kerry Ladies Football Board).

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