Two second-half goals from Aine Tighe eased UL to a second successive O’Connor Cup title this afternoon.
The Leitrim half-forward, set-up by Niamh O’Dea and Caroline McCarthy, puncture the top left corner of Aislin Tarpey’s goal with a superb kick on 37 minutes. The contest’s second goal moved UL 2-10 to 0-6 clear and from there to the finish it was one-way traffic.
DCU’s Sarah Rowe, arguably their strongest final performer, kicked her third point in the subsequent action. It proved but brief respite.
On 41 minutes, Tighe pounced again to all but end the game as a contest. Gathering Niamh O’Dea’s delivery, she turned inside Sinead Green and blasted to the net.
Claire O’Sullivan, Roisin Leonard, Aileen Wall and Niamh O’Dea tallied six unanswered points in the closing stages to complete the rout.
The first-half had proven a much a tighter affair. UL returned to the dressing room 1-9 to 0-7 to the good, Limerick's Roisin Leonard inflicting the majority of damage in front of goal.
The Corofin corner-forward kicked 1-3 in the opening period, clinically dispatching a penalty on 15 minutes after DCU’s Deirdre Murphy picked the ball illegally off the floor inside the square.
Lorraine Scanlon, Caroline McCarthy, Aine Tighe, Aileen Wall and Julia White all contributed in swelling the UL tally, White particularly impressive in a dominant Limerick half-back line.
DCU had started with plenty of intent, but failed to convert a host of early chances. Lindsay Peat and Sarah Rowe both kicked wide, Limerick full-back Laurie Ryan twice getting the better of Peat in the ensuing passages.
Carol Hegarty opened their account, with Lorraine O’Shea, Brid O’Sullivan and Rowe splitting the posts to ensure Limerick never moved out of sight. They were powerless to this regard at the change of ends.
Scorers for UL: R Leonard (1-5, 1-0 pen, 0-3 frees); A Tighe (2-1); N O’Dea (0-3, 0-3 frees); C O’Sullivan A Wall (0-2 each); J White, L Scalon, A Galvin (0-1 each).
Scorers for DCU: S Rowe (0-4); C Hegarty, L O’Shea (0-2 each); B O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
UL: Elaine Murphy (Kerry); S Condon (Tipperary), L Ryan (Clare), B McManus (Cork); J White (Cork), N Richardson (Limerick), C Cooney (Galway); L Scanlon (Kerry), J Grant (Tipperary); A Tighe (Leitrim), N O’Dea (Clare), A Wall (Waterford); C McCarthy (Kerry), A Galvin 9Kerry), R Leonard (Galway).
Subs: C O’Sullivan (Kerry) for McCarthy (40 mins), E Buckley (Tipperary for Cooney (46), A Considine (Clare) for Condon (49), S Everard (Tipperary) for Leonard (50), Edel Murphy (Mayo) for Elaine Murphy (54).
DCU: A Tarpey (Mayo); A Bell (Mayo), S Greene (Cavan), L Caffrey (Dublin); K Murray (Dublin), L Collins (Dublin), D Murphy (Dublin); C McManamon (Mayo), L O’Shea (Tipperary); B O’Sullivan (Cork), S Woods (Dublin), L McEnaney (Monaghan); C Hegarty (Mayo), L Peat (Dublin), S Rowe (Mayo).
Subs: E Rutledge (Dublin) for Hegarty (36), A O’Reilly (Dublin) for McManamon (48), L Fleming (Roscommon) for O’Sullivan (50), G O’Loughlin (Sligo) for Collins (55).
Referee: J Niland (Sligo).