Kerry have lost to Meath in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship.
The Kingdom went down by 1-12 to 1-5 in Lixnaw.
Kerry made the step up to Intermediate Camogie when they welcomed Meath to Hermitage Park, Lixnaw. Kerry were mindful that Meath had operated at senior level in 2019 while Kerry were in the junior grade. Meath had put in some impressive performances in last year's senior championship against such teams as Clare who were lucky to leave Navan with a one-point victory.
Kerry were forced to make a pre-match change as Norette Casey replaced Liz Houlihan. The Kingdom played with the wind in the first half but it was Meath who drew first blood when Amy Gaffney kicked to the net in the 6th minute. This was followed two minutes later by a point from Leah Dennehy. However, two frees from Patrice Diggin in the 10th and 15th minutes reduced the margin to two. Meath replied with two points of their own in the 18th and 19th minutes from Megan Thynne and Jane Dolan with a free. Patrice Diggin converted a free in the 20th minute. Jane Dolan added to her tally in the 24th minute and Amy Gaffney added a point to her goal in the 28th. Deep in injury-time Sinéad Hackett scored a point for Meath and a Jackie Horgan free for Kerry left the half-time score at Meath 1-6 Kerry 0-4.
Kerry faced into the stiff wind in the second half but applied themselves with great purpose. They got a dream start in the 36th when a ball lobbed in the goalmouth by Patrice Diggin was finished to the net by Jessica Fitzell. Meath replied quickly through Aoife Minogue. Kerry launched an attack on the Meath goalmouth in the 42nd minute but this was repelled by the Meath defence at the expense of a '45' which Patrice Diggin converted. Two points from Amy Gaffney and Sinéad Hackett in the 45th and 47th minutes pushed Meath into a four-point lead. Kerry pushed hard for the goal that was required but the Meath defence stood firm. Three points deep in injury-time by Megan Thynne, Aoife Minogue and Sinéad Hackett gave Meath the victory on a final scoreline of 1-12 to 1-5. While the Meath experience was telling, this was a positive performance from Kerry in their first intermediate outing. Many thanks to Lixnaw GAA Club for the use of their facilities and their hospitality.
Kerry Team and Scorers:
Aoife Fitzgerald, Norette Casey, Sara Murphy, Michelle Costello, Rachel McCarthy, Niamh Leen, Kate Lynch, Ann-Marie Leen, Patrice Diggin (0-4, 0-3f, 1 '45'), Aoife Behan, Laura Collins, Jessica Fitzell (1-0), Saidhbhe Horgan, Jackie Horgan (0-1f), Caoimhe Spillane.
Substitutions: Liz Houlihan for Ann-Marie Leen, Brid Horan for Saidhbhe Horgan, Alannah Whelan for Jessica Fitzell, Edel Slattery for Norette Casey.
Meath Team and Scorers:
Maggie Randle, Louise Donoghue, Claire Coffey, Sophia Payne, Cheyenne O’Brien, Meave Clince, Tracy King, Megan Thynne (0-2), Kristina Troy, Jane Dolan 0-2 (0-1f), Aoife Maguire, Aoife Minogue (0-2, 0-1f) Leah Dennehy (0-1), Sinead Hackett (0-3), Amy Gaffney (1-2).
Substitutions: Ellen Burke for Tracy King, Grace Coleman for Aoife Maguire, Megan Collins for Leah Dennehy, Erin Leddy for Kristina Troy
Réiteoir: Conor Quinlan
Mike O'Halloran reports
Kerry manager Ian Brick