23 September 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Niamh Kindlon will be Monaghan’s most experienced player in this Sunday’s All-Ireland Ladies SFC final clash with Cork but she insists it’s the team’s collective spirit and skill that’ll be Monaghan’s trump cards …
Cork’s lady footballers are likely to take a leaf out of Brian Cody’s book in their attempt to deny Monaghan the All-Ireland SFC title this Sunday.
That’s the view of Monaghan’s most experienced player, Niamh Kindlon, ahead of the mouth-watering Croke Park duel with the Rebelettes for the Brendan Martin Cup.
Ace attacker Kindlon believes that just like the Cats were left smarting following their shock defeat to Tipp last year, 2009 all-Ireland championship kingpins Cork will be itching to get back into the winner’s enclosure after losing their crown to Dublin in 2010.
“I think Cork have been hurting ever since they lost out to Tyrone in last year’s quarter-final,” Kindlon opined.
“They seemed to have been playing this year like a team out to prove a point. They’ve put in a lot of determined displays this year, in both the league and the championship but we’ve impressed at times too and it looks like it’s the two best teams in the country who’ll be coming together on Sunday.”
As the countdown begins in earnest to Sunday’s final, Kindlon insists that it doesn’t worry her that a huge weight of responsiblity has been placed on her shoulders ahead of Monaghan’s appearance in this year’s All-Ireland Ladies SFC final.
Kindlon is the only player in the Monaghan squad to face Cork at Croke Park this coming Sunday with an an all-Ireland senior medal in her back pocket and many football afficionados in the county say her performance will be crucial in determining the Oriel’s fate.
An all-Ireland senior medallist in both 1996 and 1997, Kindlon will bring a wealth of experience to bear on this weekend’s proceedings but she knocks back any suggestion that the word pressure is embedded in black, bold capitals in her lexicon:
“I’m not at all conscious about what some people might be saying about how I could influence Sunday’s final,” Kindlon told the Northern Standard.
“I don’t think there’s any more responsibility weighing on my shoulders than there is for any of the other players. It’s a do-or-die game for all the Monaghan players and I’m just fortunate to have so many good players on the team with me.”
If any player in the country right now knows that makes the difference between victory and defeat in all-Ireland finals then it must be the 30 year old Magheracloone maestro.
Fact is, that while the tearaway attacker enjoyed the best of times in ’96 and ’97, she also experienced the worst of times in 1998, 2002 and 2008 when Croke Park final defeats blanched her face and drained every ounze of enthusiasm from her sinues.
In 2002 and 2008, the hurt was compounded by the fact that she captained Monaghan on both occasions.
Despite beind disinclined to re-wind the clock, Kindlon shows herself to be a mine of memories, good and bad, from her times at Croke Park.
She recalls being very young in 1997 when a lot of what was meaningful and intrinsic to the outcome washed over her head. She omits to say that she netted a fine goal in the first half.
“I remember there were eleven minutes of injury time played in the 1997 final and that was one reason why the clock was brought in for big games after that,” she recalls.
In ’97, Kindlon formed a hugely potent attacking line up which included Angela Larkin, Linda Gartlan, Edel Byrne, Maggie Kierans and Diane Dempsey. All going well, she will line out in the centre-full forward position against Cork on Sunday.
Full story in The Northern Standard

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