Saturday 18th February
Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale
Referee - Fintan McNamara (Clare)
Limerick got off to a winning start in their opening Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues Division 1 tie against newly promoted Meath in Rathkeale on Saturday. Limerick ran out deserving 0-18 to 0-7 winners but a lively Meath side asked questions of their more experienced opponents and were made to rue some inaccuracy in front of goal.
Meath’s Jane Dolan almost opened the Royal’s account in the first minute when she struck quickly from a free while the Limerick defence were organising themselves drawing a fine save from Claire Keating.
Limerick began to dominate and had opened a five-point lead before Meath opened their account around the mid-point of the half. Corner forwards Caoimhe Lyons and Orla Curtin caused Meath no end of trouble and had each contributed 2 points by the break as Limerick went in comfortably on top 0-10 to 0-3.
Limerick who had looked uneasy in some of the early exchanges were more settled after the break and though Meath closed the gap slightly Limerick never looked like losing. Indeed, they could have widened the gap had they converted one of their goal chances the closest being when captain Niamh Mulcahy found herself one on one with keeper then striking high and hitting the crossbar.
Limerick’s defence were impressive with the returning Sarah Carey and Mairéad Ryan adding to a strong defensive set-up. Sarah Carey was impressive throughout and alongside Karen O’Leary was one of Limerick’s best performers. Another positive was that four of the starting forwards and both midfielders got on the scoreboard showing an increased scoring threat to go alongside the ever-excellent Niamh Mulcahy. As the half progressed the management introduced some changes as they explored their options as there is increasing competition for places within the squad.
A solid win for the opening round but with tougher challenges ahead John Tuohy and his team will have plenty to work on ahead of the visit of Offaly on 12th March.
Scorers: Limerick: Niamh Mulcahy 0-10 (8f), Caoimhe Lyons 0-3, Orla Curtin 0-2, Sinéad McNamara, Rebecca Delee, Caoimhe Costelloe 0-1 each
Meath: Aoife Minogue 0-3, Jane Dolan 0-2 (1f), Amy Gaffney, Sinéad Hackett 0-1 each
Limerick: Claire Keating (Cappamore), Fiona Hickey (Granagh Ballingarry), Muireann Creamer (Cappamore), Mairéad Ryan (Clooney Quin), Karen O’Leary (Newcastle West),
Sarah Carey (Granagh Ballingarry), Judith Mulcahy (Ahane), Rebecca Delee (Newcastle West), Caoimhe Costelloe (Adare), Aisling Scanlon (Killeedy), Sinéad McNamara (Na Piarsaigh), Niamh Mulcahy - capt. (Ahane), Orla Curtin (Ahane), Sarah Collins (Crecora), Caoimhe Lyons (Monaleen)
Subs: 40mins Niamh Richardson (Murroe Boher) for Karen O'Leary
41 mins Clíona Lane (Adare) for Aisling Scanlon
58 mins Chloe O’Brien (Ballyagran) for Sarah Collins
59 mins Marian Quaid (Bruff) for Muireann Creamer
59 mins Mairéad Fitzgerald (Granagh Ballingarry) for Orla Curtin
Sunday 19th February
Piltown, Co. Kilkenny
Limerick Minors fell short in their first outing in the 2017 away to Kilkenny. The Noresiders prevailed by 3-12 to 1-13 in a tightly contested physical encounter in Piltown.
Playing with a strong wind Kilkenny had the best of the opening half and opened a early lead with two goals in the first half. The first one was scored by Ruth Kent after 10 mins and the second scored by Eimear Farrell after 26 mins. Though Limerick will be disappointed with the defensive errors that lead to the scores.
But Limerick pulled themselves back into the game on 29 minutes when Anna-Rose Kennedy got on the end of a nice passing move. This left the score at the break Kilkenny 2-8 Limerick 1-3
Limerick took the game to Kilkenny from the start of the second half and an increased work-rate was discernable. Laura Stack forced the Kilkenny keeper to make a great save after 5 minutes.
Limerick were the better team in the second half and scored some excellent points from play and their pressure lead to frees which were converted by Dearbhla Egan. But unfortunately, they had left themselves too much to do and Kilkenny ran out winners by 3-12 to 1-13.
Limerick will take a lot away from what was a tricky opener and will regroup for the visit of Clare, who defeated Galway in their opening match, on next Saturday 25th of February.
Dearbhla Egan 0-9 (8 frees), Anna-Rose Kennedy 1-0, Laura Stack 0-2, Aoife Curtin 0-1, Áine Reynolds 0-1
Leah O'Carroll (Patrickswell), Orla Ryan (Crecora), Caoimhe O'Brien (Bruff), Áine Tangney (Croagh Kilfinny), Edel Cunningham (Murroe Boher), Sophie O'Callaghan (Adare), Katie Hayes (Cappamore), Ciara Barry (Patrickswell), Dearbhla Egan -capt.
(Crecora), Róisín Ambrose (Newcastle West), Laura Stack (Milford), Lisa Leonard (Cappamore), Aoife Curtin (Ballyagran), Áine Reynolds (Ahane), Anna-Rose Kennedy (Galbally)
Katie Heelan (Murroe Boher) for Lisa Leonard
Nóirín Lenihan (Croagh Kilfinny) for Ciara Barry
Lucy Breen (Crecora) for Aoife Curtin
League Fixtures confirmed
The draw for the 2017 League competitions sees 25 teams representing 21 clubs compete in what is the largest number of teams that have ever contested adult competitions in Limerick.
The first round takes place on 5th March working up to the finals across all four grades on 5th/6th May.
Group 1: Killeedy, Cappamore, Newcastle West, Ballyagran
Group 2: Ahane, Granagh Ballingarry, Murroe Boher, Bruff
Group 1: Newcastle West, Crecora, Na Piarsaigh, Tournafulla
Group 2: Ballybrown, Adare, Killeedy, Croagh Kilfinny
Galbally, Kilmallock, Monaleen, Patrickswell
Ahane, Treaty Gaels, Granagh Ballingarry, Templeglantine, Knockaderry