Cork V Limerick, Munster senior final, Drom & Inch, Tipperary Saturday, 3.45pm
FRESH from their Munster senior semi-final win over Tipperary last Sunday evening Cork face Limerick in the final tomorrow in Drom and Inch at 3.45pm.
The game was originally set for 7.15pm but a change was made to avoid a clash with the Munster semi-final hurling game in Thurles between the same two counties.
The game is in Tipperary as part of a double header with the intermediate Munster final between Cork and Tipperary at 12 noon.
Cork’s win over Tipperary was very impressive for half of the 60 minutes. Cork were dazzling in the first and final quarters.
In between they seem to disappear around the middle of the park, and it put fierce pressure on Cork’s half back line, leading to rushed passes, which broke down.
Hannah Looney was introduced into midfield in the last fifteen minutes with Katrina Mackey moving to full forward and both players excelled.
That’s when the wave changed direction again.
Hannah wasn’t started due to her involvement with the ladies’ footballers the night before in what was a tough league final. Meabh Cahalane likewise, while Libby Coppinger played both games and must have felt tired on Monday morning.
Tipperary are improving and if they had Orla O ’Dwyer – heading back to Brisbane in August – and the hugely talented Aishling Moloney, out for twelve months with a cruciate injury, even though she hadn’t yet committed to the Tipperary side, they would be a big threat.
However, from their 16 points scored, just six were from play and Amy Lee saw little of the ball in between the posts.
Cork will be hoping that their final against Limerick is another good challenge for them. I can’t see Limerick getting a victory but the manner of how they approach the game should be exciting.
They overcame Clare and Waterford, Waterford having a really tough season, recently relegated to division 2 of the league for 2022.
What has been most encouraging for Limerick to date was their league quarter final performance against champions Kilkenny.
It was a game they should have won and would have, but for two brilliant saves by Kilkenny goalkeeper Aoife Norris.
It would have been a shock defeat for Kilkenny. Limerick led for most of proceedings and were full value for that lead as they exposed a Kilkenny defence without Davina Tobin and Claire Phelan.
That was down to a relentless work rate all over the pitch and a directness of play, either through lengthy deliveries or pacy running right down the middle. They brought huge intensity which Kilkenny weren’t able to match but the win was a bridge too far.
This is the type of challenge Cork would relish as they try to settle their full back line.
The other end will tell a lot, as to whether Limerick can hold the open space and speed of Cork’s forward line. Ciara O’Sullivan did well in the semi-final and will hold her spot at left half forward.
Rebecca Delea, Caoimhe Costelloe are familiar names on this Limerick side that no longer have the magnificent Niamh Mulcahy.
They are a young side and developing and maybe that’s why they gave Kilkenny such a scare, they hold no fear of opponents such as Cork.
Limerick will be bidding for just their second Munster title, their first memorable win back in 2017 at the expense of Cork in what was a shock result.
But Cork went on to win the All-Ireland and will also use this game as preparation for bigger summer days ahead.