By DECLAN ROONEY
At St Rynagh’s, Banagher
Goals from Aoibhin Murphy, Michaela Cumes and Áine Cleary saw Limerick crowned All-Ireland U14 Silver champions after a dominant performance against Tipperary at St Rynagh’s Park in Banagher.
All-Ireland C champions in 2014 and 2015, Limerick turned on the style to become the inaugural U14 Silver winners with a display of strong running football and some excellent scoring.
Unlike the earlier Platinum Final, conditions for scoring were a little tougher after the wind had picked up, but the two Munster teams still showed plenty of good football throughout.
Limerick had the advantage of the stiff breeze in the opening period, but it was Tipperary who opened the scoring when Ciara O’Hora pointed a free for her side in the seventh minute.
But from that point it was Limerick who bossed the first-half action. Both sides operated with two players in the full-forward line, which meant there was a lot of space for both attacks to operate in, but it was Limerick’s Murphy who shone brightest with a personal tally of 1-6.
After eight minutes, Murphy got her first look at goal and she blasted over from close range to level the scores, while five minutes later a quickly taken free from the bright Leah Quane set Lucy O’Brien up for the lead score.
Both sides were guilty of kicking wides as the wind picked up, but Limerick added to their lead when Maeve Heenan picked out Caoimhe Smith with a long delivery and Murphy popped up to give her side a 0-3 to 0-1 lead.
Six minutes from the interval, Limerick got the goal their dominance deserved when Murphy stole possession close to goal and fired smartly to the net, but in first-half added-time O’Hora closed the gap with a free for Tipperary.
Limerick were 1-3 to 0-2 clear at the break, and they soon built on that lead with Caoimhe MacNamara and Murphy on target, before goals from Cleary and Cumes put them 3-6 to 0-2 clear by the 38th minute.
A Nicole Delaney point for Tipp and some excellent defending from Emer Roche and a Muireann Treacy save kept them in touch, but it was fitting that Murphy rounded off the scoring with the final two points.
Scorers – Limerick: A Murphy 1-6, M Cumes 1-0, A Cleary 1-0, L O’Brien 0-2, C Smith 0-1 (1f), C MacNamara 0-1. Tipperary: C O’Hora 0-2 (2f), H Cleere 0-1, K Hanrahan 0-1 (1f), N Delaney 0-1.
Limerick: L O’Donnell; R Fitzgibbon, C Kiely (c), S McGuinness; C Ryan, K Feasy, R Flaherty; O Ryan, L Quane; M Heenan, L O’Brien, A Murphy; M Cumes, C Smith, C MacNamara. Subs: A Cleary, G Purcell, M Cagney, L Geary, C McAuliffe, A Cullinane, O Meehan, G Leaden, C Ryan, C Neenan, L Madden, A Neville.
Tipperary: M Treacy; N Hayes, S Ryan, A O’Farrell; A Column, MA Fitzgerald, E Cremins; N Devaney, C Molloy Hickey; C O’Hora, H Cleere, A Ryan (c); K O’Connor, E Sumner, G Fitzpatrick Ryan. Subs: E Roche, A McCormack, K Carr, H Brennan, E Slattery, C Shelly, L Murphy, K Hanrahan, A O’Brien, E Dwan, C Shelly, A Carew.
Referee: Barry Redmond (Wexford).Tweet