The Limerick Senior Camogie Team got their 2013 league campaign off to a winning start in Bray, beating Antrim by 2-11 to 0-5.
Scorers Caoimhe Costello 1-1, Katie Campbell 1-1, Mary O'Callaghan 0-1, Sinead McAuliffe 0-1, Marie Keating 0-3 and Niamh Mulcahy 0-4 (3 from frees).
Limericks Minor camogie team got their championship campaign off to a great start today by drawing with Galway, the current All-Ireland A Champions. Played in bitter conditions, on a bright day, on a well presented pitch, Manager Willie Banks of Old Christians was noticeably proud of his young charges with their spirited performance against a taller, stronger and more physical Galway side. But what the Limerick girls lacked in height they made up for in tenacity and drive.
Galway were the first to get on the scoreboard with a point from play within the first three minutes of the throw-in. Our girls soon settled and before long, the sliotar was deep in the heart of the Galway defence. A number of bodies were around the ball but as it sprung clear of the pack the sharp shooter, Caoimhe Costello doubled on it and struck to the back of the Galway net. Play continued with both sides showing tremendous skill, hooking and blocking to ensure the ball reached their forwards. Our corner backs Killmallocks Miren O’Grady and Newcastle Wests Shauna Tobin were steady in defence, clearing incoming ball out to the wings. However, Galway were next to score with two points from frees from 30 metres.
The score was now level at 1-0 to 0-3. Once the sliotar was within scoring range for Limerick, Caoimhe again stepped up to the plate and scored a point from play with some great fielding from centreback and Captain Rebecca Delee. Galway levelled once again with a point from a placed ball. Next Limerick hit a purple match, with three unanswered points from play from three different forwards, Knockaderrys Deborah Murphy, Cappamores Claire Keating and Blackrocks Katie Hennessey. However, our cheers soon turned to groans as Galway got back into the game by raising the green flag. Score now Limerick 1-4 Galway 1-4. There were some great tussles in every corner of the field with Na Piarsaigh's Jane Wilson and Cappamore's Muireann Creamer breaking their markers hearts on numerous occasions to clear the ball and field it into the forwards. A foul by one of the Galway backs afforded Adare's Caoimhe Costello to pop another point over the bar. Galway once more replied with a point and with time almost up in the first half, another Galway foul allowed freetaker, Caoimhe to put her third point of the day over the bar.
Half time score Limerick 1-6 Galway 1-5
After the break, with Limerick playing into the wind, the long range puck outs of goalie Orla Condon (sister of Limerick Senior Hurler, Tom Condon) were to prove vital to our attack. Galway got the first score again in this half to level the sides for the third time in the game. Galway had upped the intensity of the game and with a few positional switches were capitalising on these moves as it forced our backs to make rushed decisions which ended in two points from frees for Galway. However not to be outdone our girls soon had increased the speed and intensity of their game and the end result was two points from frees, the first from Claire Keating and the second from the ever reliable Caoimhe. At this stage there was 16 mins gone in the second half and the score was once again level with 1-8 apiece. Cornerback Miren O’Grady made way for Shannyn Sheehan of Templeglantine who made her mark immediately on the game by clearing some dangerous balls from around the square.
For the next 8 mins in the game, Galway seemed to do nothing wrong, scoring three points from play without reply. Our midfield players Donna Mulcahy of Killeedy and Meadhbh O’Neill of Galbally continued to bat and catch ball and field to our forwards but the Galway backs were able to clear their lines before we got into the danger area. Halfback Karen O’Leary of Newcastle West covered a tremendous amount of ground, sending ball up the wing to Aoife Wilson, twin of halfback Jane, who sent it into the square only to be quickly scooped out again by the Galway defence. After half-forward, Deborah Murphy sustained an injury, Ballybrowns Mairéad Clancy was introduced.
When it seemed that time was running out for Limerick, the girls never dropped their heads, they drove on for one final onslaught whereby Meadhbh O’Neill delivered a ball towards full forward Orla Cunningham of Killeedy. Despite a number of Galway backs surrounding her, she managed to pass the ball off to Caoimhe who once again showed her class and handpassed it into the back of the net for her second goal of the day. This time it was Limericks turn to break Galways hearts, and as the referee blew the whistle, the Limerick camp were very happy with the draw and shared points.
Final Score: Limerick 2-8 Galway 1-11.