Limerick played their Division 2 All Ireland Semi-final of the League in Walsh Park, Waterford, last Sunday. Their opponents were Kilkenny (who had topped their group en route to the Semi) and referee Aiden O’Brien of Wexford presided over the game.
Kilkenny were first out of the blocks after the throw-in, with a point from play in the 2nd minute. They added a second point from a free before a superb pass by Limericks on-form corner forward Caoimhe Costelloe to full forward, Mary O'Callaghan in the 6th minute, resulted in a goal for the girls in green. Kilkenny quickly responded and resumed the lead by popping over three points in succession from placed balls, the last in the 10th minute. For the next 13 minutes of this half Limerick kept Kilkenny scoreless, while tagging on a further 1-05 themselves( 0-02 from half-forward, Rebecca Delee, 0-01 from midfielder, Sarah Carey and 0-02 from centre-forward Niamh Mulcahy; one from play, one from a 45.) The goal was another from Bruffs Mary O'Callaghan after some brilliant work from corner forward, Dymphna O’Brien. On the 23rd minute Kilkenny got their 6th point, only their second from play quickly followed by another from a free. Limerick were unlucky for another goal but quick thinking Dymphna managed to prevent the ball going out of play and passed it crossfield over her shoulder to Niamh Mulcahy who popped it over the bar. Kilkenny were next on the scoresheet in the 28th minute but this was to be their last score of the half while Limerick finished strongly with Mary O’Callaghan scoring a hat-trick of goals followed 30 seconds later by Caoimhe Costelloe raising the green flag. This left the half-time score, Limerick 4-06 Kilkenny 0-08.
In the second half, playing against the wind, Limericks Niamh Mulcahy split the posts from a free for the first score of this half. Kilkenny replied almost immediately and put up a tremendous battle in all positions around the field but Limericks huge lead from the first half left Kilkenny with an almost impossible mountain to climb. They managed to add on four extra points in this second 30 minutes, one from a free and three from play leaving their final tally at 0-12 points. Limerick had all the hard work done at this stage, so substitutes were introduced. Firstly Killeedys Marie Keating for half forward Katie Campbell, with Marie scoring 3 points from play during her time on the pitch. Half forward Rebecca Delee made way for Noreen Barry but added another point to her personal total before exiting, making it 3 points from play. Corner back Janet Garvey who had been solid in defence made room for Ahanes Sarah Crotty. At the full time whistle, Manager Joe Quaid and his backroom team along with the remaining subs jumped for joy, fists pumping the air as they realised they had reached the All Ireland Final of the Division 2 League. Final score Limerick 4-12 Kilkenny 0-12.
This was the best performance so far in the league from this team who have worked hard throughout the winter months and are fully deserving of their place in the Final. Goal keeper Síle Moynihan pulled off two fantastic saves at crucial points in the second half of Sundays game, and a special mention too of Bruffs Niamh Ryan at full back who during a one on one with Kilkennys full forward hassled and harried the girl forcing her to make the mistake which resulted in the ball rolling wide and out of the danger zone.
Limerick now meet Kildare in the League Final on May 5th, time and venue to be confirmed. We ask all Limerick Gaels to come and support the girls and management in the Final!!
Síle Moynihan, Fiona Hickey, Niamh Ryan, Janet Garvey, Mairéad Ryan, Michelle Casey (Captain), Judith Mulcahy, Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Sarah Carey, Katie Campbell, Niamh Mulcahy, Rebecca Delee, Caoimhe Costelloe, Mary Callaghan, Dymphna O’Brien.
Subs used: Marie Keating, Noreen Barry and Sarah Crotty.
Panel : Claire Keating, Mairéad Fitzgerald, Bríd Hannan, Elaine Kennedy, Emma Quaid, Lisa O’Keefe, Orla Cunningham, Deborah Murphy, Karen O’Leary, Martina McMahon, Meadhbh O’Neill, Jane and Aoife Wilson, Aishling McCartan, Caitrina De Bháil, Lorraine McCarthy, Aideen McNamara,