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Limerick secured their third victory of the Só Hotels Women’s National League as they defeated Kilkenny 4-1 in the Markets Field.

A hat-trick from Cara Griffin along with a goal from veteran Sylvia Gee, helped Limerick to a deserved win.

Limerick led 3-0 at the break with all three goals from the top drawer, including two long distance efforts from Cara Griffin.

Kilkenny battled gamely in the second-half, but had ultimately left themselves with a mountain to climb at the break.

Dave Rooney’s side hit the front through the experienced Sylvia Gee after just six minutes. The midfielder beat the offside trap, controlled expertly, before looping the ball over Amy Cahill with a wonderful half-volley.

The assist came from Judith Peron, who was making her Blues debut.

It could have been very different as Kilkenny hit the post 50 seconds earlier when Bronagh Kane hit the outside of the post, after drifting in from the left wing.

Karen Connolly had to be sharp after ten minutes - the Limerick stopper saving low to her right to deny a strong effort from Ann-Marie Byrne, who ghosted in from the right-flank.

Limerick doubled their lead when Cara Griffin scored a goal of the season contender.

The winger pounced on a loose ball from a cleared corner-kick and rifled the ball home via the underside of the crossbar. Cahill to her credit went close to saving it, but the accuracy of the shot was incredible and made it unstoppable.

Griffin added her second, Limerick’s third, in very similar fashion. Another Gee corner was cleared to Griffin who, from a tighter angle this time, fired high and powerfully over the visiting goalkeeper.

The corner-kick was as a result of a smart save from Cahill, who denied Shannon Parbat.

Kilkenny, to their credit, started the second half with much more purpose and were rewarded on 51 minutes. Aisling Spillane pouncing on Limerick’s failure to clear their lines, she drilled low into the corner to give the visitors some hope.

That hope could have increase minutes later. A simple throw-in routine released Bronagh Kane who volleyed narrowly wide of Karen Connolly’s goal.

Kilkenny had the better of the second half but were unable to build on the Spillane goal.

Limerick were able to shut the game down, with Marie Curtin reliable at the heart of the home defence.

They reopened their three goal advantage late on, as Griffin marked a fantastic display with her third goal.

She persevered in the area and eventually passed the ball home from six yards.

Limerick: Karen Connolly; Yazmin Reeves Wasik, Clodagh Doherty, Marie Curtin, Lauren Keane (C); Cara Griffin, Judith Peron Pericas (Shauna Rooney 78), Sylvia Gee, Shannon Parbat, Amber Kenny (Rosie Young 58); Chloe Connolly.

Kilkenny: Amy Cahill; Aoife Brophy (Kerri Duffy HT), Zara Lawless, Oleta Griffin, Alana Ruddy (Leah Doyle 90); Ann-Marie Byrne, Kayla Cooling, Aishling Spillane, Tara Long (Nicole Plunkett 68), Bronagh Kane (C); Lia Reilly.

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