Limerick secure top flight Camogie status after victory over Dublin

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2 February 2020; Limerick manager Paul Sexton with Noirin Lenihan and Mairead Ryan after the Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie League Division 1 match between Limerick and Tipperary at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Limerick secured their status in Division One of the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League after a 1-10 to 0-10 victory over Dublin at LIT.

The victory came as a result of a strong second half, where Karen O’Leary scored the crucial goal, as Limerick overturned a four point deficit to send the Dubs to the relegation play-off.

There was a number of changes from the Limerick team which was beaten heavily against Galway last time out but it was the ever pressent Caoimhe Costelloe who led the charge with five points.

Each of Limerick’s scores came from play with a strong breeze making play difficult for both sides in LIT. Dublin were aided by the wind in the opening stanza and lead early through Leah Butler. Costelloe and Laura Stack gave Limerick the lead by the ninth minute but Dublin fought back with a trio of Aisling Maher frees and a brace from play from Aisling Carolan giving them a 0-7 to 0-3 lead by the break.

The impressive Sophie O’Callaghan accounted for Limerick’s final point of the half in the 17th minutes. Paul Sexton’s side didn’t hit any wides in the opening half, while at the other end, Laura O’Neill dealt fantastically with with four shots which dropped into the square, to keep Limerick in touch.

Costelloe opened the scoring after a lengthy half-time break – the joint captain getting the service she craved in the full-forward line. O’Callaghan and Costelloe pulled Limerick to within two by the 42th minute before Bruff’s Mary O’Callaghan fired over a one point game.

Caragh Dawson finished off a rare Dublin attack, but Limerick were to dominate the next ten minutes. Judith Mulcahy and Costelloe brought Limerick level before Karen O’Leary navigated her way from wing-back to fire powerfully into the top-corner for the game’s only goal.

Adare’s Costelloe was on target once more, to give Limerick a secure four point margin – and seal their status in the top tier for 2021.

Sexton will finalise his squad in the coming weeks as Limerick face a lengthy break before a Munster Championship game in June. The Bruree native confirmed after the game that Sarah Carey has departed the panel, owing to family reasons.

Limerick Scorers: Caoimhe Costelloe 0-5; Karen O’Leary 1-0; Sophie O’Callagahan 0-2; Laura Stack, Judith Mulcahy, Mary O’Callaghan 0-1 each

Limerick: Laura O’Neill (Na Pairsaigh); Nóirín Lenihan (Croagh/Kilfinny), Muireann Creamer (Cappamore), Judith Mulcahy (Ahane); Mairéad Ryan (Clooney-Quin, Clare), Marian Quaid (Bruff), Karen O’Leary (Newcastle West); Deborah Murphy (Newcastle West), Roisín Ambrose (Newcastle West); Sophie O’Callaghan (Adare), Mary O’Callaghan (Bruff), Dearbhla Egan (Crecora); Caoimhe Lyons (Monaleen), Laura Stack (Milford, Cork), Caoimhe Costelloe (Captain) (Adare)

Subs used: Orlaith Kelleher (Croagh/Kilfinny) for Laura Stack (44 mins), Neamh Curtin (Ballybrown) for Mairéad Ryan (60 mins)

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