The dreams of All-Ireland glory for Shannon Gaels came to a crushing end last Sunday when they faced Kerry champions Na Gaeil in the Tesco All-Ireland Ladies Junior Club Championship semi-final in Tralee.
Shannon Gaels were impressive as they marched through the Connacht Championship, accounting for Drumkeerin on the way but they found the calibre of opposition in Kerry too much to contend with last weekend.
Sarah Cunningham was particularly impressive for the home side and she finished the game with a personal tally of 0-11 but equally important to Na Gaeil’s cause was the influence of those operating around the middle of the pitch with Mary Doody and Eilis O’Connor particularly impressive.
Shannon Gaels did well to cope with the early onslaught they faced and Aisling O’Hart’s fine point saw the sides level after 10 minutes.
However, the next 10 minutes proved to be pivotal as Na Gaeil raced into a lead they never looked like relinquishing.
The half-time score of 3-9 to 0-4 gave an indication of the challenge that Shannon Gaels faced in the second half and when Na Gaeil struck for their fourth goal, barely a minute into the second half, the task became considerably more difficult.
In a team full of Kerry inter-county players it was always going to be a tough task for Shannon Gaels but there are plenty of positives they can take from what has been a memorable year for the club and no doubt the disappointment of semi-final defeat will spur them on bridge that gap next year.
Aishling Egan, Martina Hanly, Clodagh Corrigan, Linda Duignan, Christine Glancy, Niamh O’Beirne, Aideen Filan, Tess Murtagh, Sile O’Dowd, Claire Cregg (0-2), Aisling O’Hart (0-2), Ruth O’Hart, Aine O’Dowd, Sorcha Bruen, Aishling McDermott (0-1). Subs: Connie Doyle for Glancy 911 mins), Niamh Flanagan for R. O’Hart (15 mins), Lisa Collins for Filan (HT), Stella Cregg for Duignan (39 mins), Bridgette Keane for Hanly (45 mins).
Laura Fitzgerald, Niamh Moriarty, Ciara Murphy, Maura O’Connor, Shona Roche, Riona Ni Chinneide, Brid Connor, Mary Doody, Eilis O’Connor, Maire Quirke (0-2), Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh (1-2), Shona Heaslip, Sarah Cunningham, (1-11), Emily Brick (0-1), Kate Anne O’Connor (0-1). Subs; Deirdre Kearney for Moriarty (38 mins), Meabh Horgan for Ni Mhuircheartaigh (40 mins), Niamh Hannifin for Doody (40 mins), Anna Murphy for Quirke (52 mins), Aisling Kelleher for Heaslip (55 mins).