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Defeat for Limerick in All-Ireland Ladies Football semi final against Fermanagh


Limerick's Amy Ryan in action against Molly Flynn of Fermanagh during the TG4 All-Ireland Junior Ladies Football Championship semi final in Kinnegad

LIMERICK had no answer to Fermamagh's scoring power in today's TG4 All-Ireland Junior Ladies Football Championship semi final.

In Kinnegad it finished Limerick 4-3 Fermamagh 4-10.

The Ulster side led by 16-points during the first half and while Limerick battled back gamely to lose by seven points, they couldn't overturn the bid lead.

Beaten in the final last year Fermanagh now play Wicklow in the 2020 final on December 5.

In this semi final it was Fermanagh 4-5, Limerick 1-2 at half time.

All very similar to the 2019 Lidl Ladies Football league semi final meeting of the teams when Limerick were 4-6 to 1-4 ahead at half time - a game where Fermanagh battled back to win!

Underdogs Limerick required a good start but it was the girls from Ulster that blitzed the Shannonsiders from the throw-in.

The Erne side had 2-3 scored before Limerick got off the mark.

Fermanagh had a point in the opening minute and it was to start a run of five successive scores.

While Limerick were on the backfoot from the off, a number of refereeing decision didn't help Donal Ryan's side to find their feet.

It was the 11th minute before Andrea O'Sullivan opening the scoring for Limerick, who had beaten Antrim and Derry to reach this semi final.

Before that, Eimear Smyth led the way for Fermanagh.

Rosin O'Reilly had the first Fermamagh goal in the fourth minute but then Smyth added two further goals.

Indeed their goal count could have been bigger but for a fine Sophie Hennessy save in the 10th minute.

Nonetheless Fermamagh were nine points clear before O'Sullivan had Limerick on the scoresheet.

By the first half water break it was 4-3 to 0-1 to Fermamagh but former AFL player Joanne Doonan with the fourth goal for the winners.

They stretched the lead out to 4-5 to 0-1 by the 25th minute - a 16-point lead.

Limerick needed a goal - O'Sullivan had a shot saved and Katie Heelan rattled the crossbar with their luck certainly out.

Finally they found the net inside the final five minutes - Cathy Mee saw her shot saved but Amy Ryan was close at hand to palm the rebound to the net.

Momentum continued before the interval with Aine Cunningham pointing a free.

So at the break it was a 12-point lead for Fermanagh.

Backed by a gentle breeze Limerick were on the forward foot at the start of the second half but again scores didn't come their way - denied goals twice and there were also calls for a penalty.

After the early pressure up the field went Fermanagh and Smyth extended their lead with a free.

Limerick were rewarded for their possession in the ninth minute - Aine Cunningham soloed forward from midfield before cracking a shot to the net.

That left it 4-7 to 2-2.

Limerick weren't finished.

Andrea O'Sullivan powered to the net and at the second half water break it was 4-9 to 3-2.

A 16-point lead now down to 10-points.

In the final quarter, Limerick added another goal - Amy Ryan with her second.

Aine Cuinningham added a free but Limerick ran out of time.

SCORERS: Limerick: Amy Ryan 2-0, Aine Cunningham 1-2 (0-2frees), Andrea O'Sullivan 1-1. Fermanagh: Eimear Smyth 2-6 (0-2frees), Joanne Doonan 1-2, Roisin O’Reilly 1-1, Sarah McCausland 0-1.

LIMERICK: Sophie Hennessey (Old Mill); Charlotte Walsh (Murroe-Boher), Maedbh McCarthy (Dromcollogher-Broadford), Rebekah Daly (Athea); Meadhbh MacNamara (St Ailbes), Niamh McCarthy (Dromcollogher-Broadford), Roisin O'Malley (Murroe-Boher); Caroline Hickey (St Ailbes), Roisin Ambrose (Old Mill); Aine Cunningham (Dromcollogher-Broadford), Cathy Mee (Ballylanders), Katie Heelan (St Ailbes); Andrea O’Sullivan (Ballylanders), Amy Ryan (Oola), Leah Coughlan (Oola). Subs: Cliodhna Ní Cheallaigh (Naomh Anna, Leitir Móir, Co Galway) for Roisin O'Malley (47mins), Rachel Greaney (Athea) for Charlotte Walsh (54mins), Aimee O’Brien (Murroe-Boher) for Andrea O'Sullivan (59mins), Kathleen Bradshaw (Oola) for Amy Ryan (61mins).

FERMANAGH: Shauna Murphy (Enniskillen Gaels); Shannan McQuade (Tempo Maguires), Erin Murphy (Kinawley Brian Borus), Molly McGloin (Newtownbutler First Fermanaghs); Molly Flynn (Tempo Maguires), Sarah-Jane Jones (Derrygonnelly Harps), Sarah McCarville (Aghadrumsee St. Macartans); Roisín O’Reilly (Kinawley Brian Borus), Aoife Flanagan (Aghadrumsee St. Macartans); Sarah McCausland (St Patricks Carrickcruppen), Roisín McDonald (Newtownbutler First Fermanaghs), Aisling Maguire (Devenish St Marys); Joanne Doonan (Kinawley Brian Borus), Eimear Smyth (Derrygonnelly Harps), Aisling O’Brien (Devenish St Marys). Subs: Brenda Bannon (Derrygonnelly Harps) for Sarah McCarville (44mins), Elaine Maguire (Belcoo O’Rahillys) for Joanne Doonan (46mins), Sarah Britton (Ederney Shamrocks) for Molly McGloin (51mins), Cadhla Bogue (Tempo Maguires) for Sarah McCausland, inj (55mins), Aoife McCabe (Aghadrumsee St Macartans) for Roisin McDonald (60mins). 

REFEREE: Kevin Corcoran (Mayo).

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