BATTLING PERFORMANCE FROM PREMIER JUNIORS NOT ENOUGH TO OUST LIMERICK
Dublin 1-12 (15)
Limerick 3-08 (17)
Limerick’s Dearbhla Egan was the star of today’s show as Dublin’s Premier Juniors sadly suffered a third defeat in their Liberty Insurance Championship. But the story of today’s game is one of pure determination by the girls in blue.
Faye McCarthy’s dead ball accuracy kept Dublin ticking in the competition for the majority of the proceedings, producing 1-05 of Dublin’s 1-12 tally. And, had Lynn Devoy’s rocket of a shot not met the tip of Limerick keeper Laura O’Neill’s hurl toward the end of the game, Dublin could have been looking at a different final scoreline.
Both sides played out a very even first half with Aoife Walsh opening the scoring for Dublin on two minutes, and Limerick traded points with the Dubs for the majority of the period. A Kirsten Farrell free and two spectacular long range efforts from Dublin keeper McCarthy kept things at 0-04 to 0-04 with five minutes to go in the half.
Egan, who had scored two of Limerick’s 0-04 so far, struck the net for the first time in this game, after being played into space in front of the Dublin goal. And a fairly straight forward palm of the ball was all it took to raise the green flag. She answered this minutes later with a pointed free to put Limerick four clear.
Kirsten Farrell notched her second pointed free shortly after and Elaine Gallery quickly followed this with a magnificent score from a very acute angle to tighten the gap. However Egan was to have the last word sending a ’45 over the bar to end the half for Limerick, leading 1-06 to Dublin’s 0-06.
The second half started like the first and Kirsten Farrell re-opened Dublin’s account with a pointed free, but Dearbhla Egan was just dangerous every time she caught a sliotar, and before the clock hit the five minute mark she had again opened Dublin’s defence to score her second goal of the day.
To Dublin’s credit, they kept Limerick quiet for the next ten minutes, and as frustration seemed to set in Limerick were conceding frees, which Faye McCarthy was more than happy to leave her goalmouth to take. She made absolutely no mistake with three perfect points, all from around the half way line. What was more amazing was the fourth, which somehow dropped below the crossbar and into the goal, putting Dublin two points ahead.
Both sides were showing their teeth and with the last quarter underway, they fought for every scrap of ball. Dublin missed some good chances, Limerick packed the goalmouth soaking up the pressure. Alison McGrath, Lynn Devoy and Elaine Gallery all took turns to try open them up. Egan pointed another free for Limerick to close the gap to a single score, and unfortunately for Dublin it wasn’t her last act.
The full forward caught another short pass on 21 minutes, drifted past the Dublin defence and shot the ball beyond Faye McCarthy, restoring their advantage.
For eight minutes both sides traded blows. Emer Keenan and Shauna McBride cleaned a lot of ball around the middle but Limerick’s defence was packed tight and holding up as they stuck to everything wearing blue. Laura Stack pointed from play in the closing stages for Limerick and Elaine Gallery struck her second of the day before the referee finally blew time. Two scores separating the sides in a very competitive game.
Dublin were clearly disappointed, but by no means disappointing. With Westmeath, Carlow and Roscommon still to play, Shane Plowman will be hoping something sticks, as this panel’s serious attitude and determination are in abundance.
Faye McCarthy 1-05 (All Frees)
Kirsten Farrell 0-04 (3f)
Elaine Gallery 0-02
Aoife Walsh 0-01
Dearbhla Egan 3-05 (4f)
Roisin O’Mara 0-01
Lisa Leonard 0-01
Laura Stack 0-01