Limerick will play Galway in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland intermediate camogie final in three weeks, while Laois will take on Kildare in the junior final on the same day writes Daragh Ó Conchúir.
Limerick, who won the Division 2 league title earlier this year, were made to work extremely hard by last year’s premier junior champions Meath before coming out on top by 2-10 to 0-8.
They led by 0-8 to 0-2 at half time but Meath threw everything at the Treatywomen after the resumption, with Jane Dolan accurate from placed balls to finish with five points.
Crucially though, the Munster outfit notched up two second half goals from dual star Dymphna O’Brien to shake off their dogged opponents.
Niamh Mulcahy finished with seven points for the winners, while Mary O’Callaghan and Caoimhe Costello also raised white flags to help them keep their noses in front.
Galway overcame Waterford 1-15 to 1-7 to make their way to the decider. The westerners always held the upper hand, particularly after a whirlwind start that saw them go 1-3 to 0-0 ahead after just seven minutes.
Orla McGrath struck for the goal in the fifth minute, finishing a fine move, with Aoife Callanan, Aoife Donohoe and Finola Keely scoring the points.
Waterford got on top in the middle third in the second quarter and were just 1-6 to 0-6 in arrears at the interval, thanks to scores from Karen Klly, Nicola Morrissey, Trish Jackman and Zoe O’Donoghue, who saw her blockbuster tipped over by Róisín Callanan from point-blank range.
Galway resumed control in the second half though, despite Kelly’s goal from a 40-yard free. Points from Keely, McGrath, Dee Burke and Rebecca Hennelly saw them home.
Susie O’Carroll was on fire for Kildare, as they came out on the right side of a high-scoring encounter with the beaten premier junior finalists of the last year Down, 5-11 to 1-13.
O’Carroll bagged three goals to keep the Lilywhites ahead, while Siobhán Hurley hit five points from play and added another from a placed ball. Clodagh Flanagan and Melissa Lyons grabbed the other goals.
And it was the goals that proved the difference as Down only managed one from Niamh Mallon. Catherine McGourty hit seven points while Fionnuala Carr managed two but the concession of five three-pointers proved too much of a mountain to climb.
Westmeath have done extremely well to get to the premier junior semi-final after winning last year’s junior A championship but they had no answer to Laois, who prevailed by 4-13 to 3-5.
Denise McGrath was magnificent for the Lakesiders, scoring all bar two points of their tally but Laois had a wider range of threats.
Louise Mahony scored 1-5 for the O’Moores and with Niamh Dollard hitting 2-1 and Síle Burke pouncing for 1-3, they always held the upper hand.