Sunday 29th March at 2.00pm
St Brendan's Park, Birr, Co Offaly
Limerick beat Offaly by 2-8 to 1-9 in a tightly fought encounter in Birr on Sunday thereby securing their place in the All-Ireland Minor A championship semi-finals. In a game played in cold blustery conditions the defending champions lead throughout but were unable to shake off a dogged Offaly side.
Early Limerick pressure lead to Offaly conceding frees which were ably converted by Rebecca Noonan as Limerick opened up a 0-5 to 0-2 lead in the first quarter. Rebecca Noonan and Caoimhe Lyons also added points from play and when the Offaly keeper failed to deal with a Rebecca Noonan free that dropped under the crossbar for a Limerick goal it looked as if Limerick were about to take control.
But Offaly had other ideas and with Gillian Irwin and Róisín Egan dangerous from play and placed ball they closed the gap. And just before the break an indirect free was played into the goal area where Teri Delaney pounced on it and struck the back of the net to send the sides in with a single point between the 1-7 to 1-6.
Limerick piled on the pressure after the break with Caoimhe Lyons in particular making surging runs that tested the Offaly defence. After one such break she shot for goal drawing a fine save from the Offaly keeper only for Aisling Scanlon to strike the breaking ball into the net to give Limerick a 2-8 to 1-7 lead.
That was to be Limerick’s last score of the game and Offaly came back strongly in the final quarter. But as time ran out they were forced to look for goals and the Limerick defence lead by Sinéad McNamara and Tara Fitzgibbon held firm and Limerick were deserving winners by 2-8 to 1-9.
The result means Limerick have qualified for the semi-finals of the Minor A Championship from Group 1 with Galway likely but not certain to join them. The two teams face off in the final group game next week with winners topping the group.
In Group 2 Kilkenny and Cork face off with a Kilkenny win putting Kilkenny and Tipperary through and a Cork win setting up a three way tie which will be resolved by a combination of a draw and results between teams. A similar procedure will apply in Group 1 should Limerick and Dublin win setting up a three way tie for second place.
Rebecca Noonan 1-7, Aisling Scanlon 1-0, Caoimhe Lyons 0-1
Laura O'Neill (Na Piarsaigh), Saoirse Barry (Murroe Boher), Tara Fitzgibbon (Ballyagran), Sinéad Madden (Mungret St.Pauls), Sinéad McNamara (Na Piarsaigh), Leanne Browne (C) (Newcastle West), Aisling Regan (Murroe Boher), Aisling Scanlon (Killeedy), Chloe O'Brien (Ballyagran), Rebecca Noonan (Granagh Ballingarry), Ellana Mulcahy (Killeedy), Gráinne Regan (Murroe Boher), Sophie O'Callaghan (Adare), Dearbhla Egan (Crecora), Caoimhe Lyons (Monaleen)
Aoife Barry (Murroe Boher), Marion Quaid (Bruff), Siobhan Tangney (Croagh Kilfinny), Caoimhe O'Brien (Bruff), Aoife Coughlan (Crecora), Sarah Shanahan (Killeedy), Aisling Scully (Granagh Ballingarry), Róisín O'Mara (Ahane), Gráinne Ryan (Galbally), Leah Riordan (Ballyagran)