ON the eve of the happenings at Croke Park, Limerick run-up against Waterford in the quarter-final of the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship at FBD Semple Stadium, Thurles (throw-in, 3.15pm).
It’s a surprise appearance in the knock-out stages for the Shannonsiders, given the side suffered early defeats to holders Galway and Kilkenny, but both away from home in fairness. John Lillis (and Declan Nash/Darragh O’Grady) managed Limerick, however, have bounced back courageously to secure three wins on the trot, against Offaly, Down and Antrim.
In the crunch outing with Down, Caoimhe Costello (Adare) gave arguably the greatest ever individual display by a Limerick player when scoring an astonishing 2-10 in Cappamore. Costello – the sport’s player of the month for June – was again very much to the fore in Belfast’s Corrigan Park the other weekend, knocking over six points while the contributions of others were also noteworthy, such as those from Rebecca Delee (Newcastle West), Bruff’s Lorraine McCarthy and Caoimhe Lyons, Monaleen.
The likely Shannonside starting XV will include dependable goalkeeper Claire Keating and solid full-back Muireann Creamer, both Cappamore; along with Marian Quaid of Bruff (captain), Sophie O’Callaghan (Adare), Ailbe Larkin of Mungret/St. Paul’s and Michelle Curtin, Templeglantine.
Waterford have lively players in individuals such as Niamh Rockett, Beth Carton and Máiréad O’Brien. Limerick are a tough outfit. They’ve been watching our matches, we’ve been watching their matches. We’ve had good battles over the years and we’re looking forward to a good match against them,” commented Rockett.
Limerick/Waterford is the curtain-raiser in a few days’ time, to be followed by the other quarter-final involving Kilkenny and Dublin (5.15pm).
Galway and Cork are both already through to the semi-finals in Croke Park on Saturday week.
Limerick have never won the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship, coming closest when losing to Cork following a replayed Croke Park final in 1980, having three years earlier won the Junior under the captaincy of Carrie Clancy (nee Gillane, Patrickswell and Ahane), whose intercounty career stretched beyond 20 years. She was a late grandaunt to Limerick hurling sensation Aaron Gillane.
Both quarter-finals from Thurles will be televised live by RTE.