Limerick Crowned All Ireland Under 14 Blitz Champions



Limerick made the trip to Kinnegad last Saturday, 17 May to compete in the Under 14C All Ireland Blitz.  The girls had an early start, with the first players on the bus at 5.30 am in Newcastlewest, then Adare, the South Court and last stop Morrison’s, to ensure that the team arrived in the Coralstown/Kinnegad GAA Club Pitches for  9 am.  The girls were looking forward to the challenge, following their recent victory over Tipperary in the Munster Final.

There were six team in Limerick’s Group: Down, Louth, London , Longford, Limerick and Offaly.  Each Round match, was seven minutes per half (fourteen minutes in total) and the final would be fifteen minutes per half. .

In Round One, Limerick played Offaly and kept Offaly scoreless to secure a victory on the score line: Limerick: 2-1 to Offaly’s 0-0.  In Round 2: Limerick played London and recorded another victory: Limerick 5-4 to London’s 0-0.  In Round 3: Limerick played Longford and kept Longford scoreless to record another victory: Limerick 3-2 to Longford’s 0-0.  Limerick were unbeaten after three Rounds, but knew stiffer opposition lay ahead.

This was to prove the case. In Round 4: Limerick took on Louth and lost out by 2 points (Louth 1-2 to Limerick: 0-3), a game Limerick should have won, playing great football, but unable to convert all of their chances.  Next up in Round 5, was Down. Down had gone unbeaten and the winner of this game would join Louth in the Final.  Both teams were evenly matched and exchanged scores, until two minutes to go, Down went a goal ahead.  This drove Limerick on with time ticking away and great work from the whole team setup Eimear Kirby to take a shot on goal, only to be taken down in the square.  Limerick’s Laura O’Shaughnessy coolly converted the penalty to level the match, to leave the final score a draw: Limerick 2-1 and Down 2-1.  The game now had to go to a points shoot out, where five players from each team had to kick a point from the twenty-one metre line.  Limerick’s Sive O’Halloran, Nicole Kenny, Ciara Clancy, Maedbh McCarthy and Lauren Ryan, held their nerve to slot over all five kicks.  Down kicked four out of their five.  So Limerick won out five points to four. 

Next up for Limerick was the Final against Louth, the only team that had pipped Limerick earlier.  Limerick were determined for this not to happen again and started the game lively with a goal from Sinead Callinan  and long range points from Laura O’Shaughnessy and Andrea O’Sullivan to leave the half time score: Limerick 1-2 to Louth’s 0-2.  Louth started the second half strongly and scored five points, but this drove a determined Limerick to fight back with two goals from Ciara Clancy, a goal and a point from Eimear Kirby and a point from Captain Lauren Ryan, to leave the final score: Limerick 4-4 to Louth’s 0-7. 

Congratulations to every girl on the panel, who contributed and played brilliantly as a team in every match, from our goal keeper to the backs, midfielders and forwards.  It was brilliant to witness the girls displaying an exhibition of skills and teamwork to setup Limerick’s Victory.  Lauren Ryan, Captain, accepted the cup on behalf of the team .  There were great celebrations in Kinnegad.  A big thank you to all the girls for their commitment and dedication to the squad, to Manager: Kevin Boyle, who leaves no stone unturned in his preparation for the squad and to the rest of the backroom team for all their help and support to the team.  Our thanks also to Ladies Football for running an excellent blitz, to Coralstown/Kinnegad GAA Club for their excellent facilities, the Limerick Ladies Football Board, to all the Limerick parents and supporters who made the journey to watch and support the girls and to everyone who welcomed the team on their arrival home.  The girls were treated to a meal after the match and Peter Sheehan, was the MC for a great singsong on the way home.  Next up for the Girls is the All Ireland Semi Final, when they take on the Ulster Champions on the 14 June.  Limerick last captured the All Ireland Blitz title in 2006. 


Limerick Panel: Aoife Corbett (Monagea), Ciara Ryan (St Ailbes), Maedbh McCarthy (Drom/Broadford), Lucy Ryan (St Brigid’s), Joanne Foley (Mungret/St Paul’s), Emma Hogan (Monagea), Katie Heelan (St Ailbes), Roisin Ambrose (Old Mill), Sive O’Halloran (Adare), Ciara Clancy (St Brigid’s) Andrea O’Sullivan (Ballylanders), Laura O’Shaughnessy (Gerald Griffins), Sinead Callinan (Ahane),  Lauren Ryan (Adare) Captain, Eimear Kirby (Knockainey), Aisling Herbert (Ahane), Emma Conway (Mungret/St Paul’s), Karin Mason  (Mungret/St Paul’s), Orla Regan (Murroe Boher), Nicole Kenny (St Brigid’s), Claire O’Meara (Mungret/St Paul’s), Rachel Fennell (Mungret/St Paul’s), Anna Madigan (Murroe Boher), Cathy Ambrose (Old Mill), Noirin Lenihan (Adare), Ciara O’Brien (Mungret/St Paul’s), Eileen Scanlon (Gerald Griffins) and Caoimhe McMahon (Aherlow).  Team Manager: Kevin Boyle (St Brigid’s), Backroom Team: John Holland (St Brigid’s), Barry O’Halloran (Adare), Peter Sheehan (St Patrick’s), Breda Ahern (Ahane) and Breda Corbett (Monagea).


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