Limerick fell to their second championship defeat in a row when All-Ireland finalists of the last three years Kilkenny proved to be a step too far for Declan Nash’s side.
Kilkenny ran out 4-23 to 1-13 winners in Callan, but Limerick have the consolation of a quarter final spot by virtue of Galway’s victory over Wexford in the group’s other game.
The home side got off to a fast start with the first six points of the contest, before a Niamh Mulcahy ’45 got Limerick on the board.
Kilkenny continued to dominate and led by 0-16 to 0-6 at the break, with Mulcahy landing 0-4 for Limerick.
Any hopes of a comeback disappeared moments after the restart when Ann Dalton got Kilkenny’s first goal.
Further goals from Katie Power, Michelle Quilty and Dalton followed to give Kilkenny an unassailable lead. Rebecca Delee grabbed a late goal for Limerick, but it proved to be scant consolation.
After the game, Limerick manager Declan Nash acknowledge the clinical nature of Kilkenny who were ruthless in their execution.
“To be fair they were excellent. They got off to a really good start and were five points ahead in the opening five minutes.”
“To a certain extent we left 1-2 after us but their conversion rate was much much sharper and we were on the back foot from then on”
“Our performance didn’t reach the levels we are used to. We got it in bits and parts but not consistent enough.”
Victories over Offaly and Wexford in the opening two rounds had booked Limerick’s passage into the quarter-finals where it has been announced that they will face Tipperary in Thurles on August 3 in a double-header with Galway and Waterford also meeting.
Nash is expecting more of the same against Tipperary with Limerick heading into a first All-Ireland quarter-final since 2005.
“We have to be on top form for these teams and even when you are they can still punish you. But look that is where we want to be. We are a work in progress, we’ve been saying that for a while so it was just great to be qualified and to be able to have a crack off them and not be worried.”
“It’s an All-Ireland quarter-final. They are going to pose a threat similar to that of Kilkenny and Galway. Intensity is going to be high. They are a good hurling side with some really strong hurlers in key areas.”
“We try to focus on ourselves learn from the last two weeks and see can we improve a touch over the next few weeks.”
The clash with Tipperary will be broadcast live on RTÉ, something which Nash is delighted with as his side will gain more exposure that their continued effort has warranted.
However, he hopes that this will not have an impact on the home support which has grown with each game.
“The live coverage is great. It will probably give more exposure to people who may not have been camogie fans but again you’d be hoping for traveling support at the same time.”
Listen to the interview with Nash below.