SLIDESHOW: Limerick Junior Camogie side reach Croke Park final

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Limerick 1-12 Roscommon 0-8

A LATE goal from 17-year-old substitute Shauna D’Arcy, her first involvement of the game, blasted Limerick into the All-Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Championship final at the expense of a determined Roscommon side in Cusack Park on Saturday afternoon.

Limerick held out against a late Roscommon resurgence to set up a Croke Park showdown with Kerry, who had earlier proven too strong for Clare during a double header at the rain and wind-swept Ennis venue.

With a strong wind behind their backs, Kevin Connolly’s charges flew out of the traps early to go four points clear but a strong Roscommon side grew into the game and a well-taken free from Shauna Fallon got Karol Collins’ side on to the scoreboard.

The Rossies, who were looking to keep their 100% record intact against a battling Limerick side, responded well and reduced the margin to the minimum midway through the opening half.

The hard-working Shannonsiders had other ideas though and the last three points of the half fell to the in-form Rebecca Noonan whose flawless free taking first-half performance ensured that the side in green lead 0-8 to 0-4 at the interval.

The unseasonal like conditions did calm down after the resumption but Roscommon failed to capitalise on the favourable elements and allowed Limerick to add to their eight point tally through points from Sinead McElligott and Noonan. 

Limerick continued to maintain their healthy four point lead as both sides exchanged points as the second half progressed.  A superb save by Roscommon goalkeeper Michaela Fallon denied Ella Whelan before Rebecca Noonan found herself in space to grab her sixth point of the afternoon, temporally extending her sides’ lead to five points.  

With just 10 minutes remaining, Roscommon managed to reduce the deficit to three points as captain Susan Spillane insped her side with a well-worked point from play.  Moments later, Fallon added another free as the pendulum swung in Roscommon’s favour but Connolly’s young guns dug deep as referee Paul Ryan signaled for time added on.   

As the rain passed, Limerick edged out a high-scoring second half as Roscommon, who had the momentum deep into injury-time, were subject to defeat when substitute Shauna D’arcy found the net, less than a minute after her introduction.  Her late goal put the result beyond any doubt, putting seven points between the two sides in the dying moments as Limerick advanced to the final in style.

Limerick will now meet Kerry in the All-Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Championship final in Croke Park final on Sunday, September 8.

SCORERS: LIMERICK: Rebecca Noonan 0-7 (five frees), Shauna D’arcy 1-0, Michelle Curtin 0-2, Noelle Curtin 0-1, Ger Mai O’Kelly 0-1, Sinead McElligott 0-1

ROSCOMMON: Shauna Fallon 0-5 (five frees), Rachel Fitzmaurice 0-1, Lorraine Kelly 0-1, Susan Spillane 0-1

TEAMS: LIMERICK: Leah O’Carroll; Kate Herbert, Aine Tangney, Eva Butler; Sarah Shanahan, Yvonne Lee, Sinead McElligott, Orlaith Kelleher, Ann Kennedy (Leanne Browne 32 mins); Rebecca Noonan, Geri Mai O’Kelly, Noelle Curtin (Shauna D’arcy 61 mins); Ella Whelan (Katie Carroll 63 mins), Grace Lee (capt.), Michelle Curtin.

ROSCOMMON: Michaela Fallon; Aisling McDermott, Meabh Tiernan, Chloe Whyte Lennon; Aine O’Meara, Emer McNally, Joannie Beattie; Susan Spillane (capt.), Rachel Fitzmaurice; Alisha Lenihan, Kathy Jones, Shauna Fallon; Lorraine Kenny (Ella Killion 47 mins), Fiona Connell, Lisa Dolan (Kate Doyle 38 mins)

Referee: Paul Ryan (Kildare)