A THIRD defeat in four outings but Limerick still progress to the knockout stages of the TG4 All Ireland Junior Ladies Football Championship.
This final round group game in Birr finished Carlow 4-11, Limerick 1-9.
The Donal Ryan managed Limerick advance to next weekend's semi final against Wicklow by virtue of their head-to-head status with Derry, who Limerick beat earlier in the campaign.
In this tie, there was an hour long stoppage for an injury in the opening half. Just less than 20-minutes were played when Limerick midfielder Andrea O'Sullivan sustained an injury and the medics on hand opted not to move her from the field of play and called for an ambulance. Just inside the hour mark the game resumed after the Limerick and Ballylanders star was removed to hospital for further treatment.
Two injury time goals had Carlow 2-7 to 0-4 ahead at half time.
Aine Cunningham had the game's opening score but then Limerick didn't score again until the game's 20th minute.
It was a 0-3 to 0-1 lead for Carlow at the first half water break.
The advantage for the Leinster side was out to three points when the lengthy injury stoppage occurred.
On the restart one hour later, Limerick started the better and midfielder Roisin Ambrose had back-to-back points to level the game for the first and only time at 0-3 each.
But Carlow soon found their feet again to regain the lead.
A Nicole Bennett free left it 0-5 to 0-4 with half time approaching.
But there was still time for a Carlow scoring blitz in injury time.
Firstly a Dannah O'Brien goal and then two minutes later another green flag from Cliodhna Ni Se.
In a run of four scores they also had two points for a nine point half time lead.
Their advantage was increased to 10-points at the start of the second half but points from Katie Heelan and Meadhbh MacNamara hit back for Limerick.
And it was the start of a fine scoring run by the Limerick girls - six unanswered scores.
By the second half water break it was 1-9 to 2-8 - a 10-point lead down to two entering the final quarter.
Nicole Bennett had the Limerick goal in the 14th minute.
And just before the water break Roisin Ambrose thought she had another Limerick goal but the referee called back play for a free in, which Bennett converted.
The water break broke Limerick momentum.
On the restart, Cliodhna Ni Se had the third Carlow goal - from a penalty.
Shortly after Limerick were reduced to 14 players for the remaining minutes when Maedbh McCarthy was sent to the sinbin.
As Limerick came to terms with the sinbin, Sara Doyle craved through the middle for a fourth Carlow goal.
SCORERS: Limerick: Nicole Bennett 1-3 (0-3frees), Roisin Ambrose 0-2, Aine Cunningham, Katie Heelan, Meadhbh MacNamara and Megan Buckley 0-1 each. Carlow: Cliodhna Ni Se 2-3 (1-0pen, 0-2frees), Dannah O'Brien 1-3 (2frees), Sara Doyle 1-1, Oonagh Fitzpatrick, Aoibheann Gilmartin and Rachel Sawyer 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Sophie Hennessey (Old Mill); Yvonne Lee (Monagea), Maedbh McCarthy (Dromcollogher-Broadford), Charlotte Walsh (Murroe-Boher); Megan Buckley (Murroe-Boher), Niamh McCarthy (Dromcollogher-Broadford), Meadhbh MacNamara (St Ailbes); Roisin Ambrose (Old Mill), Andrea O'Sullivan (Ballylanders); Katie Heelan (St Ailbes), Leah Coughlan (Oola), Aine Cunningham (Dromcollogher-Broadford); Nicole Bennett (Murroe-Boher), Amy Ryan (Oola), Kristine Reidy (Feohanagh-Castlemahon). Subs: Iris Kennelly (Old Mill) for Andrea O'Sullivan, inj (18mins), Aine Ryan (Mungret St Pauls) for Niamh McCarthy (36mins), Cliodhna Ni Cheallaigh (Naomh Anna, Leitir Mor) for Leah Coughlan (36mins), Lauren Ryan (Adare) for Nicole Bennett (52mins).
CARLOW: Nicole Hanley; Oonagh Fitzpatrick, Amy Dooley, Ruth Bermingham; Nuala Mohan, Ellen Akkinson, Niamh Murphy; Caoimhe O'Neill, Niamh Forde; Maria Kinsella, Sara Doyle, Niamh Kelly; Aoibheann Gilmartin, Cliodhna Ni Se, Dannah O'Brien. Subs: Antoinette Dowling for Niamh Murphy (h-t), Caoimhe Redmond for Maria Kinsella (52mins), Grace Ware for Aoibheann Gilmartin (60mins).
REFEREE: Eamon Moran (Kerry).
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