Kinsale ladies named West Cork Sports Team of the Year
BY KIERAN McCARTHY
THEY entertained us again last season, putting West Cork ladies’ football firmly on the map – and now Kinsale ladies’ footballers have been named the 2017 Celtic Ross West Cork Sports Team of the Year.
Last season this talented group continued their remarkable rise from the junior ranks as they made the step-up to intermediate in style, winning both county and Munster titles.
It was the second year in a row that this Kinsale team won Cork and provincial honours following their junior success in 2016.
After winning the 2017 Munster intermediate crown, Kinsale then defeated Connacht champions Maigh Cuilinn in an All-Ireland semi-final before, agonisingly, losing out to Meath team Dunboyne by a single point in the All-Ireland final last month.
Still, this Kinsale team – managed by Micheál O’Connor – thrilled, excited and entertained in 2017, playing an attractive brand of football that has helped raise the profile of ladies’ football in West Cork.
This latest accolade – being named West Cork Sports Team of the Year – is a proud moment for the Kinsale ladies’ team, explains goalkeeper Aisling Judge, who also served as chairperson up until December.
‘This is incredibly special,’ Judge said.
‘To get recognition in West Cork is fantastic when you think of the calibre of sports people and sports teams locally, and to get recognition across a multitude of sports, not just our own sport, means a lot to everyone involved.
‘We all started off playing with Kinsale when we were kids so for us now to be recognised outside our own immediate community is a huge honour for us all.’
The Kinsale ladies team will receive their award at the 20th annual Celtic Ross West Cork Sports Star Awards on Saturday, January 20th, the biggest night in the local sports calendar. In the coming weeks we will reveal the identities of the West Cork Youth Sports Star and Hall of Fame entrant, and on the night both will receive their awards, while the overall West Cork Sports Star of the Year will also be announced.
Joining in on the celebration of West Cork sport that night will be the Kinsale ladies’ team that will compete in the senior ranks this year following their intermediate success in 2017.
Goalkeeper Judge is looking forward to the challenge of senior football as Kinsale look to put the heartbreak of losing a second successive All-Ireland final behind them.
‘The initial week or two after losing (to Dunboyne) were harder than after we lost the junior final,’ she admitted.
‘We truly believed that 2017 would be our year and we were out to right the wrongs of losing the All-Ireland junior final.
‘For the All-Ireland we all went out on the pitch with a little piece of tape on our wrists that said,’ No regrets’, and it had the date of the final from 2016 that we lost.
‘In that junior final, we didn’t do ourselves justice, we played for 20 minutes and it wasn’t the game we wanted so we were confident last month that if we gave it our all and played how we know we can that we could and would win.
‘So, initially, the defeat was a lot harder to take because we were so, so close, but now, looking back on the year and where we have come from over the last few years, we don’t have any regrets on how we played on the day. We really stepped up – but it didn’t go our way.
‘The two defeats we have suffered in All-Ireland finals will be the making of this team, we’re a very young team and you will see a lot of players go on to achieve amazing things.’
This young Kinsale team has already achieved amazing things, and they are deserving winners of the West Cork Sports Team of the Year award.