Limerick’s Path to the All-Ireland Ladies Junior Football Final

A journey that started in Kilkenny in mid June, going all the way to Croke Park, let’s take a look at how the Ladies reached the All-Ireland final.

Graham Shine’s Limerick side will compete in their first final since 2018 this Sunday, as they clash with Down in Croke Park in the Lidl All-Ireland Ladies Junior decider.

On that occasion, Limerick secured a five goal win over Louth with current captain Roisin Ambrose one of four survivors from that team.

Limerick and Down have already faced off this year, with the Ulster outfit claiming a five point win, but both teams had already secured their spots in the semi-finals at that stage, taking a bit of intensity out of the affair.

A journey that started in Kilkenny in mid June, going all the way to Croke Park, let’s take a look at how the Ladies reached the All-Ireland final.

Limerick 7-21 : 1-5 Kilkenny (Round 1)

June 18 in John Lockes GAA, Kilkenny

Graham Shine’s charges kicked off their championship campaign with an emphatic 34 point win over Kilkenny, courtesy of an Iris Kenneally hatrick.

Goals from Karen O’Leary and Amy Ryan meant the Shannonsiders held a commanding 5-9 to 0-3 lead at the interval.

Cathy Mee came from the bench to bag a pair of goals in the second half, as Limerick sailed to victory, opening their championship in style.

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Limerick 2-7 : 1-7 Sligo (Round 2)

July 2 in Newcastle West

Cathy Mee once again found herself among the goals, as the forward’s brace proved the difference in overcoming Sligo, and booking Limericks spot in the semi-final.

Deborah Murphy had opened the scoring with the sides exchanging the lead before Mee’s intervention prior to the half time whistle.

The Yeats county did eventually breach the Limerick rearguard in the second period as Katie Walsh added to her tally.

But the Limerick defence remained firm from here on in to secure a valuable win and eliminate Sligo from the competition.

Limerick 1-8 : 1-13 Down (Round 3)

July 9 in Newcastle West

Both sides came into this round three clash with spots in the semi-final already confirmed, and perhaps that took the edge off the game.

A very tight first half meant that there was just a point between the pair at the interval, with Down in the ascendency.

The Ulster outfit grew in control in the second-half, and built up a lead as high as five points.

While the Shannonsiders did their best to claw their way back into the game, Down held on to pick up a win ahead of the semi-finals.

Limerick 0-10 : 1-6 Fermanagh (All-Ireland semi-final)

July 22 in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park

The defeat to Down meant Limerick were paired with group B table toppers Fermanagh in a third meeting of the sides in the semi-final in four years.

As a result, Limerick headed into the semi-final meeting with Lakeland county as underdogs, but managed to grind out a one point win to book their place in their first final since 2018.

It was a strong second half performance from Limerick, who kicked just one point in the opening half hour.

Indeed the first score didn’t come until the 24th minute, with Fermanagh adding a goal before the interval to lead 1-2 to 0-1 at half.

Andrea O’Sullivan drew the sides level in the 43rd minute, before Cathy Mee put them in front for the first time two minutes later.

A pair from Caoimhe McGrath had Limerick three clear approaching the final whistle and while Fermanagh did talk on two in response, it wasn’t enough with the Shannonsiders holding on. 

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