Limerick Ladies see off Derry to reach National League semi-finals:

By Gary Ferry Limerick Leader Sports

LIMERICK Ladies footballers qualified for the Division 4 Lidl Ladies Football League semi-finals with an impressive 2-7 to 0-4 victory over Derry at Owenbeg on Sunday afternoon.

From the first whistle. Limerick were hungry for this one. They dominated the ball for most of the first half at Owenbeg, and early scores from Karen O’Leary and Laoise Brown set them on their way to what would ultimately be a comfortable half hour.

Annie Crozier did respond for Derry with an excellent score, but that only preceded a strong spell from the visitors who were unfortunate not to find the net on a few occasions.

Iris Kennelly in particular was having no luck in front of goal as she hit the crossbar before having a goal disallowed before Browne came so close to a goal with a great effort that was kept out by a combination of crossbar and Derry goalkeeper Thomasina Cassidy.

Cathy Mee added another score and there was an air of inevitability about a Limerick goal however and it arrived 20 minutes in when a kick-out from Cassidy was intercepted and that led to an incisive move from Limerick which ended with Browne setting up Kennelly to fire the ball low into the net.

Cathy Mee added a second point to make it 0-1, 1-4 and Clare O’Meara kicked another point to make it 1-5 to 0-1 at half-time. Into the second half, Limerick were efficient when they had to be however and after Mee added to her tally with a simple free, they got their second goal of the game to make sure of the win.

O’Leary’s quick thinking from a free set Kennelly away and this time there was nothing that Derry goalkeeper Cassidy could do as the full forward hammered the into the top corner to make it 0-1, 2-7.

Limerick saw out the game comfortably although Derry kicked the final three points of the contest.

DERRY: Thomasina Cassidy, Hannah Mullan, Blaithin Donnelly, Joanne Corr, Dervla Stinson, Orlaith McCloskey, Nuala Brown, Lea Casey, Aoife McGlone, Anna Martin, Erin Doherty, Annie Ni Lochlainn, Annie Crozier (0-1), Eve Diamond (0-2, 2f), Anna Young. SUBS: Ellie Conway (0-1) for Lea Casey (half-time), Clodagh Moore for Anna Young (35 mins), Ciara McGurk for Nuala Brown (42 mins).

LIMERICK: Sophie Hennessey, Sarah Dillon, Yvonne Lee, Meadhnh Mac Namara, Deborah Murphy (0-1, 1f), Leah Coughlan, Grace Lee, Roisin Ambrose, Clare O’Meara (0-1), Lauren Ryan, Cathy Mee (0-3, 2f), Katie Heelan, Iris Kennelly (2-0), Laoise Browne (0-1), Karen O’Leary (0-1) SUBS: Caoimhe McGrath for Leah Coughlan (42 mins), Laura Stack for Cathy Mee (48 mins), Anna O’Dea for Katie Heelan, Laura Walsh for Clare O’Meara, Amy Curtin for Iris Kennelly (57mins), Joanne Foley for Meadhbh MacNamara (60 mins).

REFEREE: Philip Conway.