Action from the clash between Offaly and Limerick. PHOTOGRAPHY: DERMOT LYNCH
Liberty Insurance All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Gp 2 Rd 1
Offaly opened their All Ireland campaign with an impressive win over Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds.
The final scoreline of Limerick 3-14 to Offaly’s 2-18 goes some way to describing what was an intense and highly skilled game of Camogie.
The opening 30 minutes saw Limerick bookend the half with goals from Dearbhla Egan in the first minure and Aisling Scanlon just before half-time.
However the real tale of the half was Offaly’s eight unanswered points following that Egan goal, with five of the Faithful county’s forwards scoring with the advantage of the wind.
Limerick were dragged back into the game by Niamh Mulcahy who scored three points in a row but Siobhan Flannery responded with a goal for Offaly. The home side however finished the game on the front foot with another 1-1 that left just a point in it at the break with Offaly leading 1-8 to 2-4.
The second half was filled with drama. Offaly were on the front foot scoring 1-3 just after the break with the goal coming from Rachel Brennan to leave Offaly 2-11 to 2-4 ahead with Sarah Harding and Siobhan Flannery also scoring. However second half goals from Aisling Scanlon and Mairead Fitzgerald kept Limerick in the hunt for a win in what was a cracking game of camogie.
Offaly, with scores from Sarah Harding, Rachel Brennan and the impressive Siobhan Flannery, raced into a seven point lead and Limerick looked in trouble.
The comeback began for Shannonsiders in the 17th minute of that second half however as Mairead Fitzgerald of rattled the Offaly net for Limerick’s third goal.
Three points on the bounce saw Limerick reduce the gap to just three points but Siobhan Flannery once more came to the rescue for Offaly as she knocked over two excellent points, bringing the gap out to four with seconds of normal time remaining.
Limerick were not done trying just yet and they battled their way back into contention with scores from Caoimhe Costelloe, Rebecca Delee and Orla Curtin but Offaly held on for a deserved and hard fought win.
Next up for Offaly is another testing away trip, this time to Wexford on June 24 but they will travel with extra confidence after this excellent win.
SCORERS: Limerick: Niamh Mulcahy 0-4 (2 frees), Rebecca Delee 0-3, Aisling Scanlon 1-1, Dearbhla Egan 1-1, Mairead Fitzgerald 1-1, Orla Curtin 0-2, Caoimhe Costelloe, Sarah Carey 0-1 each. Offaly: Siobhan Flannery 1-8 (5 frees), Debbie Flynn 0-3, Tina Hannon, Arlene Watkins, Sarah Harding 0-2 each, Rachel Brennan 1-0.
LIMERICK: Laura O’Neill, Lorraine Mc Carthy, Muireann Creamer, Sinead Mc Namara, Niamh Ryan, Sarah Carey, Judith Mulcahy, Karen O’Leary, Caoimhe Costelloe,Deborah Murphy, Cliona Lane, Niamh Mulcahy (C) Dearbhla Egan, Rebecca Delee, Aisling Scanlon. Subs Used: Orla Curtin, Sarah Collins, Mairead Fitzgerald.
OFFALY: Mairead Jennings, Lorraine Keena, Jean Brady (C), Fiona Stephens, Aisling Brennan, Michaela Morkan, Linda Sullivan, Orlaigh Kirwan, Roisin Egan, Mairead Daly, Triona Mc Donald, Tina Hannon, Debbie Flynn, Siobhan Flannery, Arlene Watkins. Subs Used: Sarah Harding, Rachel Brennan.
REFEREE: Cathal Egan