Kerry joint-manager Darragh Long knows his team are in the ideal position as they continued their perfect start to the Lidl NFL Division 1 with a narrow win over Donegal on Saturday.
It was a good weekend for the two Munster outfits, with Waterford also victorious over Mayo, but Kerry laid the platform with their 2-10 to 1-11 success at Austin Stack Park in Tralee.
Kerry and Donegal were both desperate for a win for different reasons, with the Kingdom perched at the top of the standings while Donegal struggle in relegation uncertainty.
But it was an even game throughout with the goals from Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh and Síofra O’Shea crucial in the end. Ní Mhuircheartaigh finished with 1-8 while Susanne White matched that, although she came out on the losing side.
“Three weeks ago if you said that we’d be in this position, three wins out of three, nine points on the board, unbeaten, we’d have bit your hand off for it,” said Long.
We’ve a big couple of weeks ahead and I suppose with nine points it lets us put an element of the shackles off us and we’ll see what happens for the rest of Division 1.
Kerry are in a strong position heading towards the latter stages of the competition however Donegal know victory against Waterford next time out is a must.
“The two goals were a killer. If Kerry didn’t get a goal I think that we would have won the game. That’s the disappointing thing,” said Donegal manager Maxi Curran.
“We’ve had a tough start, Galway away and Meath at home and then Kerry, that’s two All-Ireland semi-finalists and Galway probably have the best squad in the country.
“We need to get a couple of points on the board fairly shortly as we’re staring down the barrel at the minute.”
Waterford were also impressive winners as they withstood Mayo’s late comeback to earn a hard-fought 2-9 to 0-13 win in Dungarvan.
The prolific Lauren McGregor scored two goals, she has hit 4-3 in the league this year, and the Déise had enough experience to hold on.
“We felt we left the Kerry game behind, we were disappointed not to beat Cork last week but we felt we were moving forward,” said Sullivan.
“This was a game we really really wanted to win because we feel we’ve moved on massively from where we were last year.
“Mayo are a super team, we gave them massive respect, and if we’d lost that game I’d have been very very upset.”
Mayo remain pointless and bottom of the table alongside Donegal. Michael Moyles’ side haven’t scored a goal yet in this campaign and he wants his players to take their chances better.
“It’s a very familiar story, we’re conceding goals and aren’t scoring them. It’s frustrating. We’re all aware what the situation is and we’re trying to fix it,” said Moyles.
This is an unforgiving league, there’s no doubt about it. We have two weeks now until we play the All-Ireland champions up in Meath, and we’re looking forward to that to try and right the wrongs.
Elsewhere this weekend, Cavan required Aisling Gilsenan’s late heroics to secure a 2-8 to 3-4 win against Westmeath in Division 2. Laois were also narrow winners, 3-8 to 3-7, against Tyrone.
Armagh had a more comfortable 1-13 to 1-3 win against Ulster rivals Monaghan, and Tipperary’s defence was key to their 0-6 to 0-4 win against Roscommon.
In Division 3, there were wins for Longford, Kildare, Louth and Down while in Division 4A, Antrim and Carlow were victorious.
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1:
Kerry 2-10 Donegal 1-11
Waterford 2-9 Mayo 0-13
Playing on Monday, February 6:
Meath v Galway; Páirc Tailteann, 1.15pm – live on TG4
Cork v Dublin; Páirc Uí Rinn, 3pm – live on TG4
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 2:
Armagh 1-13 Monaghan 1-3
Cavan 2-8 Westmeath 3-4
Laois 3-8 Tyrone 3-7
Tipperary 0-6 Roscommon 0-4
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 3:
Longford 2-10 Offaly 1-10
Kildare 0-9 Clare 0-7
Louth 2-10 Sligo 2-9
Down 0-8 Wexford 1-4
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 4A:
Antrim 1-13 Fermanagh 1-6
Carlow 5-9 London 1-4