Sunday 8th May
Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale
Limerick won through to their second Munster final of recent years with an impressive 3-15 to 2-8 win over Waterford in Mick Neville Park on Sunday. The win sets up a final clash with All-Ireland Champions Cork on Saturday 21st May.
Waterford had the best of the opening exchanges and opened an early lead inside 5 minutes with Beth Carton hitting the back of the net to put them 1-2 to 0-1 ahead. However Limerick started to assert themselves and Niamh Mulcahy had reduced the gap to two with a free and a well taken point from play following excellent work in the middle of the park.
Just after the 10 minute mark a brace of goals from Limerick put them back in control 2-3 to 1-2. The first a long range effort from Caoimhe Costelloe was not dealt with by the Waterford keeper and dipped under the bar and with Rebecca Noonan bagging a second on the quarter hour mark Limerick were firmly on top.
Limerick were controlling play from the centre of the park with Deborah Murphy tireless in midfield and Mary O'Callaghan imposing herself at centre-forward it was creating opportunities for Niamh Mulcahy and others running through the centre. One such move saw Caoimhe Costelloe break through the Waterford defence to strike low and hard to the back of the net for Limerick's third goal leaving the score 3-4 to 1-2 to Limerick.
Limerick continued their dominance with Niamh Mulcahy and Niamh Ryan adding to the score. Beth Carton converted a free for Waterford just before the break, their first since the opening 5 minutes, to send the sides in at half-time Limerick 3-7 Waterford 1-3.
With Limerick firmly on top the second half was a somewhat more subdued affair. The excellent Niamh Rockett opened the scoring for Waterford but an impressive four points in five minutes from Niamh Mulcahy (two frees, two from play) opened Limerick's lead to 3-11 to 1-4.
Limerick manager John Tuohy took the opportunity to use his bench as both sides exchanged scores for the remainder of the game with Niamh Ryan, Caoimhe Costelloe and Mary O'Callaghan joining Niamh Mulcahy in the scoring bringing Limerick's total to an impressive 3-15 to 1-8 for Waterford with 5 minutes to go.
Waterford got a last minute goal when a Patricia Jackman free from distance dipped under the crossbar leaving the score at the final whistle Limerick 3-15 Waterford 2-8. Cork defeated Tipperary in Mahon by 2-17 to 1-10 setting up a repeat of the 2014 Munster Final.
Limerick will be looking for their first ever Munster Senior title while Cork will be going for their 58th (which includes a staggering 25 titles in a row from 1978-2002). The All-Ireland champions will probably be slight favourites going into the clash and with Limerick having beaten them twice already this year in the League will no doubt be out for revenge. But Limerick will bring confidence to the game and will have no fear of their opponents and hopefully this will bring them the success this team deserve.
Niamh Mulcahy 0-11 (0-6 frees), Caoimhe Costelloe 2-1, Rebecca Noonan 1-0, Niamh Ryan 0-2, Mary O'Callaghan 0-1
Beth Carton 1-2 (0-2 frees), Patricia Jackman 1-1 (1-1 frees), Niamh Rockett 0-3, Aisling Power 0-1, Charlotte Raher 0-1
Claire Keating (Cappamore), Marguerita McCarthy (Ahane), Muireann Creamer (Cappamore), Judith Mulcahy (Ahane), Rebecca Delee (Newcastle West), Niamh Richardson (Murroe Boher), Fiona Hickey (Granagh Ballingarry), Deborah Murphy (Knockaderry), Niamh Mulchay (Ahane), Chloe O’Brien (Ballyagran), Mary O'Callaghan (Bruff), Caoimhe Costelloe (Adare), Sinéad McNamara (Na Piarsaigh), Niamh Ryan (Bruff), Rebecca Noonan (Granagh Ballingarry)
Cliona Lane (Adare) for Niamh Ryan, Siobhán Enright (Granagh Ballingarry) for Sinéad McNamara, Noreen Barry (Killeedy) for Marguerita McCarthy, Leah O’Riordan (Ballyagran) for Chloe O'Brien