Sunday 16th March 1pm, Kilmallock
Limerick pulled off the shock of the weekend in Camogie and in the process gained some measure of revenge over Galway for defeat in last year’s All-Ireland Intermediate final with a 2-10 to 1-9 win in Kilmallock.
But the win was even more impressive than that would suggest as the team they beat was not the Intermediate victors but their Senior colleagues who were also All-Ireland Champions last September. The team included eight players that started their All-Ireland Senior Final win against Kilkenny last September and five from the team that started against Limerick on the same day.
Limerick started brightly in the early exchanges but it was Galway who had the best of the opening chances when Niamh Kilkenny broke through the middle but her shot was saved by Sile Moynihan. Galway opened the scoring shortly after through Orlaith McGrath. But Niamh Mulcahy levelled through a free to leave the score after 15 minutes 0-1 a piece.
Galway then had their best spell of the game and scored five points in a row to open what looked like a significant gap. Rebecca Hennelly scoring two (one a free) and Niamh Kilkenny, Maria Cooney and Aoife Donohue getting the others.
However, Limerick showed great character and self belief with Mairead Fitzgerald starting to make great inroads down the left playing a pass into Sarah Collins who won a free that was converted by Niamh Mulcahy. Mairead Fitzgerald got on the scoresheet herself as she cut in from the left and struck hard and low into the back of the net. Niamh Mulcahy added a point from play which left the scores level at the break 1-3 to 0-6.
The opening 15 minutes of the second half were similar to the first with little to choose between the sides. Galway opened the scoring through a Rebecca Hennelly free but Limerick pulled one back through a Mairead Fitzgerald point. Niamh Mulcahy added a point from play before Deirdre Burke leveled again for Galway.
Oralith McGrath broke through the middle to put Galway in front but Mairead Fitzgerald scored another point to make the scores level again. Limerick were starting to look more dangerous and Niamh Mulcahy broke from center field and won a free which she converted to put Limerick in front.
It was all to play for heading into the final quarter when Muireann Creamer went on a run down the right hand side of the pitch cutting inside and with the sideline calling for her to put it over the bar she backed herself to score a superb goal from a tight angle to put Limerick 4 points clear by 2-7 to 0-9.
Galway continued to apply the pressure but an impressive defensive display from Limerick led by a cool assured performance at full-back by Michelle Casey and the tireless Sarah Carey at centre-back. Niamh Mulcahy added three further points from placed balls on her way to a tally of eight for the game.
Emer Haverty pulled a late goal back for Galway but an excellent team display from Limerick saw them run out as deserving winners by 2-10 to 1-9.
Limerick: Niamh Mulcahy 0-8 (7f), Mairead Fitzgerald 1-2, Muireann Creamer 1-0
Galway: Emer Haverty 1-0, Rebecca Hennelly 0-3 (2f), Orlaith McGrath 0-2, Deirdre Burke, Niamh Kilkenny, Maria Cooney, Aoife Donohue 0-1 each
1 Síle Moynihan (Ahane), 2 Fiona Hickey (captain) (Granagh Ballingarry), 3 Michelle Casey (Killeedy), 4 Judith Mulcahy (Ahane), 5 Mairéad 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), 11 Niamh Mulcahy (Ahane), 12 Marguerita McCarthy (Ahane), 13 Meadhbh O’Neill (Galbally), 14 Sarah Collins (Ballyagran), 15 Mairéad Fitzgerald (Granagh Ballingarry)
Substitutes: 16 Niamh Ryan (Bruff) for Marguerita McCarthy, 18 Dymphna O’Brien (Killeedy) for Sarah Collins
Substitutes unused: 17 Janet Garvey (Tournafulla), 19 Caitrín de Bhál (Feenagh Kilmeedy), 20 Kristy Carroll (Galbally), 21 Lisa Scanlon (Killeedy), 22 Theresa Mulcaire (Granagh Ballingarry)
Management: Joe Quaid (Manager), Ger Sheehy, Ann Herbert, Patsy Hall (Selectors), Fiona Godfrey (Liaison Officer), Sara Fitzgerald (Physio)