23rd March 2014 at 12pm in Nowlan Park
Limerick came up against a Kilkenny side at the height of their powers as they fell to a 2-13 to 1-6 defeat in Nowlan Park on Sunday. But Limerick take many positives from the game particularly an improved second half display that saw them match the All-Ireland finalists.
Niamh Mulcahy was a late withdrawal with a wrist injury replaced by her sister Claire in the starting line-up. Limerick started well but Kilkenny opened the scoring with a well worked point from the impressive Miriam Walsh. Limerick created an early goal chance but Sarah Collins shot was saved by Emma Kavanagh. Denise Gaule added a free for Kilkenny before Limerick opened their scoring through a Meadhbh O'Neill free after Muireann Creamer was fouled.
KIlkenny started to dominate as Limerick struggled to cope with the hard-running of the Kilkenny forwards. Denise Gaule and Shelly Farrell pointed to open up a three point lead. Limerick got one back after Muireann Creamer pointed following good work by Katie Campbell and Deirdre Fitzgerald. But Shelly Farrell restored Kilkenny's lead.
This was Katie's last involvement as she went off injured shortly after replaced by Niamh Ryan. While Limerick were adjusting to the change Kilkenny broke through and Leann Fennelly hit the back of the net to the leave the score at half-time 1-6 to 0-2.
Caoimhe Costello came on for Marguerita McCarthy at half time and but it was KIlkenny who opened the second half scoring from a Denise Gaule free. This was followed by a goal from Aoife Neary. But Limerick repsonded immediately when Meadhbh O'Neill passed to Sarah Collins who goaled.
Limerick started to come into the game as Sarah Carey broke from defence winning a free that Caoimhe Costelloe converted. Caoimhe added a second free when Meadhbh O'Neill was fouled following good work by Sarah Collins. Ann Dalton responded for Kilkenny. Claire Mulcahy pointed for Limerick from play but Kilkenny pressed on and scored four points in the last period two Denise Gaule frees and one each for Shelly Farrell and Miriam Walsh. Caoimhe Costello got one back for Limerick but Kilkenny finished deserving winners by 2-13 to 1-6.
Limerick will take many positives from the experience of playing against top level opposition as they look forward to their crucial final group game against Clare on 6th April. The weekend's Division 1 League results mean that three of the semi-final positions are decided. Wexford and Cork qualify from Group 2 and Kilkenny will top Group 1. The remaining Group 1 slot will be decided among Limerick, Clare and Galway. A win or draw against Clare will see Limerick through and even a narrow loss may be enough depending on the result of the Galway v Derry game.
Limerick: Sarah Collins 1-0, Caoimhe Costelloe 0-3 (2F), Meadhbh O'Neill 0-1 (1F), Muireann Creamer 0-1, Claire Mulcahy 0-1
Kilkenny: Denise Gaule 0-6 (5F), Leann Fennelly 1-0, Aoife Neary 1-0, Shelly Farrell 0-3, Miriam Walsh 0-2, Lydia Fitzpatrick 0-1, Ann Dalton 0-1
Limerick Team: 1. Sile Moynihan Ahane, 2. Fiona Hickey Capt Granagh Ballingarry, 3. Michelle Casey Killeedy, 4. Judith Mulcahy Ahane, 5. Mairead Ryan Galbally, 6. Sarah Carey Granagh Ballingarry, 7. Katie Campbell Na Piarsaigh, 8. Deirdre Fitzpatrick Killeedy, 9. Mary O'Callaghan Bruff, 10. Muireann Creamer Cappamore, 18. Claire Mulcahy Ahane, 12. Marguerita McCarthy Ahane, 13. Meadhbh O Neill Galbally, 14. Sarah Collins Ballyagran, 15. Mairead Fitzgerald Granagh Ballingarry
Subs used: 16. Niamh Ryan Bruff for Katie Campbell, 28. Caoimhe Costelloe Adare for Marguerita McCarthy, 22. Kristy Carroll Galbally for Sarah Collins
Subs: 17. Janet Garvey Tournafulla, 19. Dymphna O'Brien Killeedy, 20. Noreen Barry Killeedy, 21. Caitrin De Bhal Feenagh Kilmeedy, 23. Lisa Scanlon Killeedy, 24. Theresa Mulcaire Granagh Ballingarry, 25. Sarah Crotty Ahane, 26. Emma Quaid Croagh Kilfinny
Management: Joe Quaid (Manager), Ger Sheehy, Ann Herbert, Patsy Hall (Selectors), Fiona Godfrey (Liaison Officer), Sara Fitzgerald (Physio)