Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship
Saturday 27th June at 2.30pm in Kilmallock
Limerick came close to causing a major upset against Cork in Kilmallock on Saturday. In the Liberty Insurance Senior Camogie Championship clash between the 2014 Senior and Intermediate champions, a strong second half performance saw the Shannonsiders come to within a score of Cork with minutes to go only to fall agonisingly short by 1-10 to 1-14.
Limerick were left to rue the damage done in a first half that was dominated by the 2014 senior All-Ireland champions, which gave the rebels a 0-9 to 0-2 lead at half-time. Limerick started well when a strong run by Caoimhe Costelloe set up Niamh Mulcahy to level the scores after Orla Cotter opened the Cork account from a free. However from there on it was all Cork as they posted seven points without reply to open a commanding lead which they were to take into the break.
Limerick seemed unable to cope with the pace of the Cork forwards in particular with Breige Corkery and Orla Cotter a constant threat. Aishling Thompson also was in total control at centre-back clearing Limerick’s attacks and keeping the pressure on Limerick’s defence.
A spirited Limerick revival after the interval had closed the gap to five when a Katriona Mackey goal put Cork back in control as they opened a 9 point lead ten minutes into the second half. At this stage it looked as if the match had slipped away from Limerick. However in a performance that will stand to them as they go into their final group games away to Wexford and Galway Limerick closed the gap again with points from Aoife Sheehan, Caoimhe Costelloe and Rebecca Delee supplementing Niamh Mulcahy’s efforts. The Aoife Sheehan score in particular came after a well-worked move involving Delee and Mulcahy.
Limerick had seemed to gain belief and fought for every ball and now it was the turn of the Cork defence to be tested. Limerick hearts were raised to fever pitch when a Rebecca Delee goal kicked into the net, with three minutes of normal time remaining, put three points between the teams and it looked as if a major upset was possible.
However Cork held firm under Limerick sustained Limerick pressure as the game moved into injury time and a last minute ‘45 converted by Orla Cotter gave Cork the insurance score to hang on to the win by 1-14 to 1-10.
In the run up to the match Limerick manager Joe Quaid had said that a Limerick win would be “one of the biggest upsets in camogie history“ and for Limerick to come so close must augur well for the future of this young side.
Limerick play Wexford next on Saturday at 5pm. Wexford will be coming off the back of an impressive 4-11 to 0-13 win over Offaly in their opening game and a tough encounter will be expected with a team that still contains many of the players that were part of the 2010-2012 three-in-a-row winning side. The match will be played in Wexford Park as part of a double header with the Wexford v Cork senior hurling qualifier. Highlights of the match will also be featured on the Sunday Game on RTÉ.
Limerick Scorers: Niamh Mulcahy 0-7(5f) Rebecca Delee 1-1 Aoife Sheehan 0-1 Caoimhe Costelloe 0-1 (1f)
Cork Scorers: Orla Cotter 0-6 all frees Katriona Mackey 1-3 Briege Corkery Amy O'Connor Orla Cronin Hannah Looney Aishling Thompson 0-1 each
Limerick Team: Síle Moynihan (Ahane), Marguerite McCarthy (Ahane), Lorraine McCarthy (Bruff), Judith Mulcahy (Ahane), Rebecca Delee (Newcastle West), Sarah Carey (Granagh Ballingarry), Fiona Hickey (Granagh Ballingarry), Aoife Sheehan (Granagh Ballingarry), Caoimhe Costelloe (Adare), Megan O’Mara (Monaleen), Niamh Mulcahy (Ahane), Caoimhe Lyons (Monaleen), Noreen Barry (Killeedy), Rebecca Noonan (Granagh Ballingarry), Sinéad McNamara (Na Piarsaigh)
Subs: Deborah Murphy (Knockaderry) for Megan O'Mara (HT), Sinéad Madden (Mungret St Pauls) for Marguerite McCarthy (49 mins), Karen O'Leary (Newcastle West) for Rebecca Noonan (47 mins), Aisling Scanlon (KIlleedy) for Noreen Barry (48 mins)