Limerick's Minor Team won its way to an historic first All-Ireland A Final with an impressive 0-12 to 0-6 win over Galway in Corrofin on Saturday. Limerick have won Munster Minor and All-Ireland Minor B titles in the recent past but this is the county's first time in the A Final and is further evidence of the strides being made in the development of Camogie in the county.
Limerick’s defeat of Galway may have been a surprise result to some outside of Limerick but there has been a buzz about this team in Limerick Camogie circles since the beginning of the year and there was no question that the Shannonsiders were the better team throughout in Corrofin.
The Galway side were noticeably physically bigger than the Limerick girls but what they lacked in stature they made up for in pace, work rate and accuracy. From the off playing against a strong breeze they caused the Tribeswomen untold problems with Donna Mulcahy and Karen O'Leary impressing in midfield.
Limerick opened the scoring through a Caoimhe Costelloe 45 but it was Galway who got the next three scores to open up a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after 12mins. However a free from Costelloe and a point from play from Caoimhe Lyons levelled the scores.
Limerick's captain and Galway's Ciana Ní Churraoin exchanged frees adding two a piece to leave the score at half time level at Limerick 0-5 Galway 0-5.
The Limerick coaching team of Willies Banks, Adrian O'Sullivan and Rose McMahon had the Limerick girls running drills at half-time and whether it was to up the sharpness or to keep the minds concentrated it had the desired effect as Limerick started the second half very brightly.
Limerick were winning the majority of breaking balls and feeding good ball into the forwards. Caoimhe Costelloe opened the scoring with a free after sustained Limerick pressure and shortly after hit a sideline to the ever dangerous Deborah Murphy who hit over a fine point. Caoimhe added another free and a score from play as the girls in green moved into a double-score lead.
Ciana Ní Churraoin put up what was to be Galway’s only score of the second half with a 46th minute free. But as the game moved into the final quarter Galway started to find some rhythm went looking to get back in the game. But some fine defending by Limerick's backs, with Sinéad MacNamara, Katie Hennessy and Rebecca Delee impressing, denied Galway as they came again and again in search of goals.
Galway came away empty handed and it was Limerick who got the last two scores of the game as Caoimhe Costello converted a free and a 45 to take her personal tally to 0-10 as Limerick secured their place in the final by 0-12 to 0-6.
Limerick will face Cork in the Final on Saturday 26th April. Cork defeated a fancied Tipperary side in the other semi-final by 3-13 to 2-13. The two sides met back in March in the group stages down in Mahon and Limerick edged a tight fought encounter by 0-15 to 2-6. The final will no doubt be an equally close match and all Limerick Camogie supporters are encouraged to get out and support the girls in their historic bid to bring the Minor All-Ireland back to the Emerald County.
Limerick: Caoimhe Costelloe 0-10 (6Fs, 2 '45s), Caoimhe Lyons 0-1, Deborah Murphy 0-1
Galway: Ciana Ní Churraoin 0-5 (4Fs), Ciara Burke 0-1
1 Laura O'Neill (Na Piarsaigh), 2.Katie Hennessy (Ballyagran), 3. Sinead MacNamara (Na Piarsaigh), 4. Shannyn Sheehan (Templeglantine), 5. Jane Wilson (Na Piarsaigh), 6. Rebecca Delee (Newcastle West), 7. Tara Fitzgibbon (Ballyagran), 8. Donna Mulcahy (Killeedy), 9. Karen O'Leary (Newcastle West), 10. Deborah Murphy (Knockaderry), 11. Caoimhe Costelloe - Captain (Adare), 12. Aoife Wilson (Adare), 13. Kate Mulqueen (Ballybrown), 14. Leanne Browne (Newcastle West), 15. Caoimhe Lyons (Monaleen)
20. Aisling Scanlon (Killeedy) for Leanne Browne, 21. Niamh Tuite (Treaty Gaels) for Kate Mulqueen, 23. Marie Danagher (Ballyagran) for Aisling Scanlon
Orla Condon, Sara Shanahan (Killeedy), Helena Fitzgerald (Adare), Leah O'Riordan (Ballyagran), Ellanah Mulcahy (Killeedy), Marion Quaid (Bruff), Mairead Clancy (Ballybrown), Lisa Ryan (Murroe Boher), Shauna Tobin (Newcastle West), Aoife Barry (Murroe Boher), Megan O'Meara (Monaleen), Aine Cunningham (Killeedy), Kiara Carroll (Newcastle West), Roisin O'Meara (Ahane), Neamh Curtin (Ballybrown), Sinead Madden (Mungret), Lizzie O'Dwyer (Cappamore)
Willie Banks (Manager), Adrian O'Sullivan, Rose McMahon (Trainer/Selector), Liz Hennessy (Liaison), Sara Fitzgerald (Physio), Margaret Delee (First Aid)