Limerick's Caoimhe Lyons looks to get past Dervla Higgins, of Galway, during Saturday's Littlewoods National Camogie League Division 1 fixture in Kilmallock Picture: Kieran Ryan-Benson
LIMERICK senior camogie side suffered a 3-13 to 0-7 defeat to a clinical Galway outfit in their Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie League Division 1 fixture at Kilmallock on Saturday.
However, both sides had already qualified for the knock-out stages of the league prior to throw-in following their earlier victories over group rivals Clare.
Limerick must now quickly refocus for a Division 1 quarter-final fixture next weekend, the draw for which is due to take place on Sunday, May 30.
Limerick remained well in this contest into the third quarter. However, Galway's greater experience, composure and scoring power prove crucial in the end.
The home side might well have been closer at full-time, but their inability to convert several good scoring opportunities undid some excellent approach play.
While nine different players got on the scoresheet for Galway, including all six starting forwards, Limerick relied heavily on Caoimhe Costelloe's points from placed balls for scores.
Nonetheless, this young Limerick side is sure to learn valuable lessons from the experience of pitting themselves against last year's All-Ireland finalists ahead of the Shannonsiders' Division 1 league quarter-final clash next weekend.
On an ideal day for camogie the sides remained tied 0-2 each after eight minutes, with the Limerick scores coming from two pointed frees from top scorer Costelloe.
The complexion of the contest changed in the eighth minute when Ailish O'Reilly rattled the Limerick net having been set up by an excellent solo and pass from Siobhan McGrath.
Galway led 1-2 to 0-4 at the first water break, mid-way through the opening half and the visitors added their second goal shortly after the restart when Sionhan McGrath rifled to the net.
Despite that setback, Limerick remained well in the contest at the half way stage, trailing by four points, 2-4 to 0-6.
Limerick's final score of the half came via Costelloe from open play and it was the home side's best point of the game, the Adare attacker rifling the sliotar over the crossbar after some excellent team play from the Shannonsiders.
The game was effectively put beyond Limerick's reach in the 40th minute when Galway showed their undoubted class. Powerful midfielder Niamh Kilkenny started and finished the move, while Ailish O'Reilly also played a key role in the score. At 3-6 to 0-6 there was no way back for Limerick.
The home side were outscored 0-5 to 0-1 in the final quarter as Galway eased clear.
This young Limerick side must now regroup for a Division 1 league quarter-final fixture next weekend.
SCORERS: Limerick: Caoimhe Costelloe 0-6 (5 frees), Áine Cunningham 0-1. Galway: Siobhan McGrath 1-3 (0-1 free), Aisling O'Reilly 1-1, Carrie Dolan 0-3 (all frees), Niamh Kilkenny 1-0, Orlaith McGrath 0-2, Sarah Spellman, Rebecca Hennelly (free), Noreen Coen, Catherine Finnerty 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Laura O'Neill (Na Piarsaigh), Marian Quaid (Bruff) ,Muireann Creamer (Cappamore), Mairéad Ryan (Clooney/Quin); Megan O'Mara (Monaleen), Judith Mulcahy (Ahane), Róisín Ambrose (Newcastle West); Karen O'Leary (Newcastle West), Aisling Scanlon (Killeedy); Caoimhe Lyons (Monaleen), Deborah Murphy (Newcastle West), Sophie O'Callaghan (Adare); Áine Cunningham (Killeedy), Rebecca Delee (Newcastle West), Caoimhe Costelloe (Adare). SUBS: Niamh Ryan (Bruff) for Lyons (45 mins), Dearbhla Egan (Crecora) for O'Callaghan (50 mins), Néamh Curtin (Ballybrown) for Scanlon (51 mins), Laura Stack (Milford) for Cunningham, Orlaith Kelliher (Croagh-Kinfinny) for Costelloe, Lisa Leonard (Cappamore) for Delee (all 55 mins).
GALWAY: Sarah Healy; Shauna Healy, Sarah Dervan, Siobhan Gardiner, Roisin Black, Emma Helebert, Dervla Higgins, Anne Marie Starr, Niamh Kilkenny; Carrie Dolan, Sarah Spellman, Catherine Finnerty; Siobhan McGrath, Ailish O'Reilly, Orliath McGrath. SUBS: Aoife Donohue for Dolan Noreen Coen for O'Reilly (both 43 mins).
REFEREE: Andy Larkin (Cork)
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