Wexford's Bríd Gordon and Niamh Mulcahy of Limerick
LIMERICK are in their third year back at camogie’s top table but championship progress is still outstanding.
Since winning the All Ireland intermediate title in 2014, strides forward have been made in both the National Camogie League and the Munster Championship.
Alas, Limerick have missed out on the knockout stages of the All Ireland senior championship for the past two years.
This Saturday Limerick face into their fourth and final group game with a quarter final spot still up for grabs.
Indeed four teams – Limerick, Wexford, Offaly and Tipperary – are still in contention to two quarter final places. Unbeaten Cork have already confirmed their automatic semi final as group winners in the Liberty Insurance sponsored championship.
Wexford stand between Limerick and an August 5/6 quarter final.
There are permutations aplenty, but what is 100% certain is that a seven point win for the John Tuohy managed Limerick will confirm a place in the knockout stages. In his second season as manager, Tuohy has Ger Hickey and Darragh O’Grady as selectors, with Declan Nash as strength and conditioning coach.
What is also certain is that Limerick will only qualify that beating Wexford and if not by at least seven points, they will need favourable results elsewhere.
Limerick play Wexford in Bruff at 5.30 and at the same time in Birr, Offaly entertain Tipperary.
When Limerick and Wexford met in the championship last season, The Model County were winners.
But there is a new-look to the Wexford team this season with Kate Kelly, Katrina Parrock and Mags D’Arcy and all retired.
Nonetheless Wexford have beaten Tipperary and Offaly in this championship – Limerick have only beaten Tipperary.
Nothing but a complete performance will suffice for Limerick in Bruff.
Captain Niamh Mulcahy continues to carry much of the scoring burden and will need to be supplemented. The Ahane star is just three points off the top of the scoring charts with 0-26 in the three games to-date. That’s 53% of the Limerick scores to Mulcahy.
There is certainly the talent in the panel to join Mulcahy in the scoring. Deborah Murphy, Rebecca Delee, Dearbhla Egan, Caoimhe Costelloe and the experienced Oral Curtin all options.
In defence Fiona Hickey, Sarah Carey and Judith Mulcahy remain the mainstays and will need to be on their toes to deal with Chloe Foxe, Una Leacy, Linda Bolger and Co in the attack for the Matty Flynn O’Connor and John Kelly managed Wexford.
PANEL: Niamh Mulcahy, Judith Mulcahy, Orla Curtin, Sile Moynihan (all Ahane), Fiona Hickey, Sarah Carey, Mairead Fitzgerald, Siobhan Enright (all Granagh-Ballingarry), Muireann Creamer, Claire Keating, Lisa Leonard (all Cappamore), Niamh Ryan, Marian Quaid, Lorraine McCarthy (all Bruff), Karen O’Leary, Deboarah Murphy, Rebecca Delee (all Newcastle West), Caoimhe Costelloe, Cliona Lane, Sophie O’Callaghan (all Adare), Dearbhla Egan, Sarah Collins (both Crecora), Laura O’Neill, Sinead McNamara (both Na Piarsaigh), Neamh Curtin, Chloe O’Brien (both Ballybrown), Mairead Ryan (Clooney-Quin), Aisling Scanlan (Killeedy), Caoimhe Lyons (Monaleen), Laura Stack (Milford).