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Aimee Maher’s first senior goal in just her second start for the club was enough to see DLR Waves to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Limerick in Jackson Park.

The 17-year-old struck midway through the first half as Waves made their dominance count, but they had to endure long periods of second-half pressure from the visiting side.

Waves dominated possession from the first whistle but had to wait 11 minutes for their first half-chance, as Sophie O’Donoghue flashed a shot harmlessly across goal.

The home side continued to press and a strong run down the right from Leanne Payne produced another effort, but her shot was turned behind by Karen Connolly.

Waves continued to pin the visitors in and they got their reward when a fluid passing move ended with Kerri Letmon picking out Aimee Maher, and she turned the ball home from close range.

Limerick’s best outlet throughout the first half was Marie Curtin, who had four shots from distance, including a free kick that hit the wall, but only called Erica Turner into action once.

Waves carried on pushing for a second and Letmon forced a comfortable save from Connolly, while Bobbi Downer did well to block Aoife Horgan’s snapshot at the other end.

The second half was a much more even affair and Limerick enjoyed their best period of the game immediately after the break.
Waves had the first chance of the second half, however, when a driving run down the right wing from Letmon ended in her shooting from a tight angle, but she could only find the side netting.

Horgan forced a comfortable save from Turner before Cara Griffin on the opposite flank called the keeper into a fine stop moments later.

There was a frantic scramble for the loose ball in the box as both Sophie Liston and Róisín McGovern fought for the loose ball, but the defender managed to get it clear at the second attempt.

And Waves had another let-off shortly afterwards when centre-half Alanna Mitchell met a corner with a towering header but the ball skewed agonisingly past the far post.

Waves continued to threaten on the break as Limerick were forced to open up more, and Leanne Payne rattled the post after latching onto Rachel Doyle’s pass, only for the offside flag to go up.

Aisling Spillane pulled a shot wide after Mitchell looked to have handled Letmon’s cross, while McGovern glanced a header wide from close range.

Letmon thought she’d settled the tie late on when she sent a looping shot over Karen Connolly, but her shot bounced back off the frame of the goal, but Waves held out for the three points.

DLR Waves: Erica Turner; Keelin McEntee, Bobbi Downer, Róisín McGovern, Jenny O’Keefe; Sinéad Gaynor, Aimee Maher (Aisling Spillane 67), Sophie O’Donoghue (Michaela Fox-Walsh 80); Niamh Murphy (Rachel Doyle 71), Kerri Letmon, Leanne Payne.

Limerick: Karen Connolly; Clodagh Doherty, Alanna Mitchell, Carys Johnson, Lauren Keane; Marie Curtin, Maura Shine, Shannon Parbat (Chloe Connolly 71); Cara Griffin (Amber Kenny 85), Aoife Horgan, Sophie Liston.

Referee: Michelle O’Neill

Photo: Mick O'Shea

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