SHIRLEY MOLONEY REPORTS
HOLDING Limerick scoreless from play for the entire match, Cork powered into the Munster senior camogie championship final.
The reigning All-Ireland and provincial champions were comprehensive 12-point winners over a Limerick team that was restricted to just four points from placed balls in this semi-final at a sun-drenched Páirc Uí Rinn.
A well-taken Linda Collins point inside the opening minute and three Orla Cotter frees saw Cork hold a four-point advantage after 13 minutes.
Cork were already well on top but the Limerick defence – and especially their half-back line that was well marshalled by Sarah Carey – ensured Cork scores were hard earned.
Niamh Mulcahy opened the Limerick account when she slotted over a 30-metre placed ball on the quarter-hour mark. This was Limerick’s solitary score in the first half, but they did threaten to grab a goal on two occasions in the second quarter.
Rebecca Delee pulled a shot across the face of goal that went just wide of the target, before Mulcahy was denied by a superb diving save from goalkeeper Aoife Murray just shy of the half-time whistle.
In contrast, Cork notched up three unanswered points courtesy of two fine Katrina Mackey efforts either side of a Cotter placed ball. Cork led 0-7 to 0-1 at the break. Early in the second half two Amy O’Connor points either side of a Mulcahy free saw Cork move 0-9 to 0-2 ahead. Cotter was very consistent on free-taking duty and she stretched the lead to eight when she pointed a placed ball from 40 metres.
Cotter and Mulcahy exchanged frees before Limerick were reduced to 14 when Caoimhe Lyons was shown red after a high tackle on Murray.
Limerick were dealt a further hammer blow when Amy O’Connor blasted to the net after being set up by Collins before Orla Cronin fired over to stretch the Cork lead to 12 points with seven minutes left.
Limerick scored two late frees through Mulcahy that sandwiched a Linda Collins effort for the home side who are back in the provincial final.
Cork: O Cotter 0-6 (6f), A O’Connor 1-2, L Collins, K Mackey 0-2 each, O Cronin 0-1.
Limerick: N Mulcahy 0-4 (4f).
Cork: A Murray; N O’Callaghan, L Treacy, P Mackey; H Looney, G O’Connor, C Sigerson; L Coppinger, C McCarthy; O Cotter O Cronin, K Mackey; A O’Connor, L Collins, L Homan.
Subs: L Hayes for H Looney (40), N McCarthy for C McCarthy (41), J White for O Cronin (57), L O’Sullivan for L Treacy (inj, 59), S McCarthy for L Collins (59).
Limerick: L O’Neill; J Mulcahy, M Creamer, M Quaid; R Delee, S Carey, M Ryan; R Ambrose, K O’Leary; D Murphy, N Mulcahy, K Hennessy; C Costelloe (c), S O’Callaghan, C Lyons.
Subs: D Egan for S Carey (inj, ht), L Leonard for S O’Callaghan (46), L Stack for K Hennessy (56).
Referee: J Lillis (Tipperary).