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Dearbhaile Beirne scored twice as UCD Waves came out on top of a hard-fought WNL Cup quarter-final against Limerick at Jackson Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Leitrim striker opened the scoring in just the third moment with a looping header before sealing the win in the final minute with a fine solo effort.

The home side were in full control and rarely looked like relinquishing their lead, though there was a palpable feeling of relief around the ground when Beirne scored her second.

Waves began the game on the front foot and there was little over a minute gone when Leanne Payne forced a fingertip save from Trish Fennelly.

After Limerick failed to clear a subsequent corner, Katie Burdis' cross was headed back across Fennelly and looped over the keeper into the corner of the net.

UCD lost both Avril Brierly and her replacement, Kerri Letmon, within three minutes early on as both sustained ankle injuries following strong Megan Kelleher challenges.

Letmon's replacement Naima Chemaou very nearly created goal number two just after the half hour but for Sylvia Gee racing back to pull off a vital saving tackle on Sophie O'Donoghue.

Sophie Hudner headed over for Limerick before Rebecca Horgan volleyed straight at Erica Turner.

Marie Curtin's free kick forced another save from Turner, the keeper backtracking as she tipped the dipping effort over the bar.

A mix-up in the Limerick defence saw Payne put O'Donoghue in on goal, but play was pulled back as Curtin was winded on the ground, much to the home side's annoyance.

And after Burdis' free kick bounced off the top of the bar, nerves began to kick in for the home side.

Beirne put those to rest, taking a short corner from Chemaou and dribbling into the box before clipping the ball over the keeper.

UCD Waves: Erica Turner; Aisling Dunbar, Róisín McGovern, Chelsea Snell, Katie Burdis (Keelin McEntee 81); Sinead Gaynor, Chloe Mustaki, Sophie O'Donoghue; Avril Brierly (Kerri Letmon 15 (Naima Chemaou 18)), Deirbheala Beirne, Leeanne Payne.

Limerick: Trish Fennelly; Sophie Gleeson, Marie Curtin, Megan Kelleher; Therese Hartley, Sylvia Gee, Carys Johnston, Aisling O'Connor, Lauren Keane; Rebecca Horgan, Sophie Hudner (Chloe Connolly 65).

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