Niamh Ryan goal foils Cork and sends Limerick to semis

A goal from sub Niamh Ryan 10 minutes from time saw Limerick defeat Cork and advance to the National Camogie League Division 1 semi-finals for the second consecutive year, in just their third season in the top tier.

The 1-11 to 0-7 result in Mallow was all the sweeter, given that the Leesiders had been their conquerors at the penultimate stage last term.

While for some, this might be considered a surprise, it should be remembered that this was almost a replica of the scoreline when the teams clashed in Rathkeale last February (Cork managing two more points on that occasion).

The game had a real championship feel to it throughout, with very little space on offer at either end of the pitch as defences dominated.

Cork will rue some wastefulness up front but in truth, this was about a youthful and hungry Limerick outfit that had two members of the successful All-Ireland minor winning side of 2014 excelling around the middle in Deborah Murphy and Karen O’Leary.

Sinead McNamara was a constant thorn in the Cork defence and the unerring Niamh Mulcahy weighed in with eight points, two of which came from play.

Scoring was at a premium throughout but the visitors Limerick had the better of the opening exchanges, establishing a narrow advantage at the end of the first quarter and stretching it to two by the interval, at which juncture they led by 0-6 to 0-4.

That remained the gap when Ryan reacted quickest onto a breaking ball to rattle the Cork net and with the shackles released, a couple of further points removed all doubt about the verdict and sets up a semi-final date with Galway on April 17. Kilkenny face Tipperary in the other semi on the same day.


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