LIMERICK captain Niamh Mulcahy fired a phenomenal 15 points as Limerick just edged out Tipperary by 1-20 to 3-12 at Semple Stadium to keep their hopes of emerging from Group 2 of the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship alive.
It was a sensational exhibition of shooting by Mulcahy, mirroring the feat of Chloe Morey against Waterford, but this was far from a one-woman band as goalkeeper Laura O’Neill made a splendid point-blank save from Orla O’Dwyer in the 52nd minute, and Orla Curtin scored a brilliant 58th minute goal with an overhead double.
Caoimhe Costelloe didn’t get on the scoresheet but was magnificent to help Limerick dominate the midfield exchanges and secure their first win after two previous losses.
It was hard luck on Tipperary’s Cáit Devane, who sored two goals and was a constant threat but it was impossible to argue that Limerick didn’t deserve the win.
Playing with the wind in the first half, they built up an early four-point lead courtesy of Mulcahy’s dead-eye shooting but goals from Devane and Róisín Howard nudged Tipp ahead. Limerick had the greater share of the possession though and led at half time by 0-14 to 2-5.
Given the strength of the wind, it wasn’t certain that a three-point lead would be sufficient but in a tighter second half, Limerick always managed to keep their noses in front. When Curtin scored her wonder goal from a Mulcahy free, they moved four clear but Devane completed her hat-trick immediately.
Nerve-ends were jangling in the closing moments but Mulcahy scored an injury-time point to confirm the victory.
At Páirc Uí Rinn Cork laid down a serious marker when trouncing Wexford, who were coming off a good win last weekend, by 3-18 to 0-9.
The visitors were unable to land a glove on their hosts and trailed at the interval by 1-9 to 0-2. Orla Cotter, Katrina Mackey and Amy O’Connor were all multiple point-scorers before O’Connor was dragged down in the square just before the break and goalkeeper Aoife Murray made the long journey up the pitch pay by burying the sliotar to the Wexford net.
The Model County girls were improved in the second half with Linda Bolger, Úna Leacy and Shelly Kehoe raising white flags but it was very easy for Cork, as Cotter, Mackey, Gemma O’Connor and Ashling Thompson all shot points before Niamh McCarthy and Leanne O’Sullivan pounced for late goals.
In Group 1, Clare produced a fantastic display to eventually draw with reigning All-Ireland champions Kilkenny having lead at the death before Denise Gaule denied them a famous victory. In an epic tussle both sides swapped the lead throughout the second half in front of a large home crowd. Elsewhere in Group 1 Galway were far too strong for Waterford, prevailing by 5-28 to 1-10 at Kenny Park.
For all of today's results in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior, Intermediate & Premier Junior Championships click here.