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A goal from super sub, Niamh Ryan 10 minutes from time has seen Limerick through to the semi-final of the Irish Daily Star League Division 1 for the second consecutive year, in just their third season in the top tier.
The Shannonsiders lost out in a three-team play-off in their initial Division 1 campaign, and given that they had to beat All-Ireland champions Cork in the play-off to decide who would take on Galway, they are clearly continuing their progress under the tutelage of new manager, John Tuohy.
The 1-11 to 0-7 result in Mallow was all the sweeter, given that the Leesiders had been their conquerors at the penultimate stage last term, but really, this was about being able to compete with the standard-bearers, and beat them.
While for some, this might be considered a surprise, it should be remembered that this was almost a replica of the scoreline when the teams clashed in Rathkeale last February, apart from Cork managing two more points.
The game had a real championship feel to it throughout, with very little space on offer at either end of the pitch as defences dominated.
A goal was always going to be crucial in such an environment and when it came to the team that always had their noses in front, it was to prove decisive.
Cork will rue some wastefulness up front but in truth, this was about a youthful and hungry Limerick side that had two members of the successful All-Ireland minor winning side of 2014 excelling around the middle in Deborah Murphy and Karen O’Leary, while Sinead McNamara was a constant thorn in the Cork defence and the unerring Niamh Mulcahy weighed in with eight points, two of which came from play.
Scoring was at a premium throughout but the visitors Limerick had the better of the opening exchanges, establishing a narrow advantage at the end of the first quarter and stretching it to two by the interval, at which juncture they led by 0-6 to 0-4.
That remained the gap when Ryan reacted quickest onto a breaking ball to rattle the Cork net and with the shackles released, a couple of further points removed all doubt about the verdict.
Kilkenny take on Tipperary in the other semi-final and both games will take place on April 17.

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