Munster Senior Camogie Championship Preliminary Round
Limerick 2-11 Clare 1-09
THE gap had considerably narrowed, but the result remained the same as the Shannonside honours once more went to Limerick in Clarina on Saturday afternoon, reports Eoin Brennan.
A six point margin definitely flattered a vanquished Clare in a one-sided National League contest four weeks earlier in Fr McNamara Park. However, this time, it was Limerick who found it difficult to justify a five point win as this was a much more evenly-matched derby throughout.
A succession of Caoimhe Costelloe placed balls allied to a sucker-punch goal right before the opening water break provided a cushion that the home side were able to cling to for the remainder.
In contrast, Clare started confidently but after Becky Foley’s opportunist goal in the third minute, five subsequent goal chances were passed up including a final quarter penalty that was sent wide.
Indeed, both sides could only muster 1-4 apiece from play as a motivated Clare upped the ante on their opponents from the outset to ensure that Limerick would fully earn their place in a provincial semi-final against Waterford.
A dramatic start certainly set the scene as captain Clare Hehir had to clear the ball off the line from Caoimhe Lyons while at the other end Becky Foley flicked a Chloe Morey delivery out of the grasp of goalkeeper Laura O’Neill to opening the scoring.
It only took Limerick two minutes to regain parity however as a Megan O’Mara pass was snapped and dispatched to the net by the alert Aine Cunningham in the fifth minute.
Twice more, Clare attempted to pull clear through Eimear Kelly and Morey only to be reeled in each time before a Caoimhe Costelloe 65 metre free was allowed to bounce in a crowded square and land in the top right corner of the net at 2-2 to 1-2 by the turn of the opening quarter.
Bridin Dinan and Aine O’Loughlin both had good opportunities to get back on terms while Niamh O’Dea dominated from centre-back but as the half developed, three more Costelloe frees would manage to extend the home advantage by the break at 2-7 to 1-5.
Despite the largely cross field breeze benefiting Clare more for the new half, that five point margin would remain by the final water break despite glorious goal opportunities for Eimear Kelly (saved) and Chloe Morey (just cleared the crossbar) at 2-10 to 1-08.
Clare’s final chance at altering the narrative arrived in the 49th minute when Chloe Morey was dragged to the ground after collecting an Eimear Kelly pass. However, uncharacteristically the Sixmilebridge forward mis-hit the resulting penalty wide.
Instead, a relieved Limerick wrestled back control for the remainder as Costelloe and Morey traded ’45’s to ensure Limerick’s passage into the last four in Munster next Saturday against Waterford.
Limerick: Laura O’Neill (Na Piarsaigh); Marian Quaid (Bruff), Muireann Creamer (Cappamore), Roisin Ambrose (Newcastlewest); Mairead Ryan (Clooney-Quin), Judith Mulcahy (Ahane), Niamh Ryan (Bruff); Karen O’Leary (Newcastlewest), Megan O’Mara (Monaleen); Deborah Murphy (Newcastlewest), Sophie O’Callaghan (Adare), Rebecca Delee (Newcastlewest); Caoimhe Lyons (Monaleen), Caoimhe Costelloe (Adare), Aine Cunningham (Killeedy)
Subs: Néamh Curtin (Ballybrown) for O’Mara (HT), Dearbhla Egan (Crecora) for Lyons (56), Aisling Scanlon (Killeedy) for O’Callaghan (57), Sinead McNamara (Na Piarsaigh) for Cunningham (57), Laura Stack (Milford) for Delee (58)
Scorers: Caoimhe Costelloe (1-9, 1-6f, 2’45); Aine Cunningham (1-0); Karen O’Leary, Deborah Murphy, Caoimhe Lyons (0-1 each)
Clare: Doireann Murphy (Clarecastle); Susan Daly (Scariff-Ogonnelloe), Clare Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona), Ciara Grogan (Clooney-Quin); Alannah Ryan (Kilkishen), Niamh O’Dea (Kilmaley), Laura McMahon (Newmarket-on-Fergus); Orlaith Duggan (Clooney-Quin), Ziyan Spillane (Feakle-Killanena); Chloe Morey (Sixmilebridge), Máire McGrath (Sixmilebridge), Aine O’Loughlin (Truagh-Clonlara); Eimear Kelly (Truagh-Clonlara), Bridin Dinan (Tulla), Becky Foley (Truagh-Clonlara)
Subs: Siofra Ní Chonaill (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) for Spillane (37), Greta Hickey (Whitegate) for Dinan (37), Clodagh O’Halloran (Newmarket-on-Fergus) for Kelly (56), Sinead Conlon (Tulla) for Daly (56), Roisin Minogue (Bodyke) for McGrath (58)
Scorers: Chloe Morey (0-6, 4f, 1’45); Becky Foley (1-0); Eimear Kelly (0-2); Aine O’Loughlin (0-1)
Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork)