The semi-final win earned Limerick a rematch of the round three clash where Down were worthy winners in Newcastle West.
After three successive All-Ireland semi-final defeats, the Limerick Ladies footballers eventually got over the line last month to secure their place on All-Ireland final day.
Against the side that had eliminated them at the same stage the previous year, Limerick were dealt a sucker punch by Fermanagh right before the half in the 2023 semi-final.
But the response after the interval was emphatic as they dominated proceedings to book their final berth.
Reflecting on the win when speaking on the Treaty Talk Podcast, manager Graham Shine spoke of his relief and emotion at the final whistle.
“The last three weeks have been brilliant, once we got over the line against Fermanagh, training has been brilliant. We’re all so excited about Sunday, everything is brilliant at the moment and just can’t wait to get going.
“I was so emotional when we won the semi-final, it was a relief really.
“Semi-finals are for winning, you just have to win. We didn’t play great, it was a funny game. The ball was slippy, a lot of nerves, as I say the real character shone in the second half. We always battle really hard in the third and fourth quarter.”
The win earned them a rematch of the round three clash where Down were worthy winners in Newcastle West. That game was played with both teams already assured of their place in the final four and Shine is eager to take the lessons learned into Sunday’s encounter.
“The conditions were poor enough that day, both defences were on top. We had chances, we missed them, then we got sucker punched when they got a goal.
“We focused again in the dressing room. The girls know themselves what to do to up the standards. It was hard work that won that game.”
The team is led by Old Mill starlet Rosin Ambrose who is one of only four left over from the 2018 final win over Louth. Ambrose herself was only 18 on the day but this time heads up another youthful squad as Shine praised the talent at his disposal.
In the semi-final, Caoimhe McGrath was sprung from the bench to kick 0-6 and the manager is confident in his replacements whenever they will be called upon.
“The standard of young player has been unreal. We have 33, you can only pick 15, you’ll have 15 subs and three on the extended panel. The standard is really high. There’s a bright future in Limerick. You know behind your back there’s serious talent looking to come on, that’s a dream for a manager.”
Nonetheless, it will be a difficult task for Limerick against a side operating in the Intermediate ranks twelve months ago.
But after persevering to get to the final, Shine and co will be keen to make their mark on Sunday.
Watch the full podcast with Shine and captain Ambrose below.
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