Antrim Minor camogie final : by Seamus McAleenan
Ballycastle 2-12 Loughgiel 2-7
Strong defensive play and lightening pace in the forward line helped Ballycastle break Loughgiel’s magnificent run of nine Antrim Minor titles in ten years at Fr Maginn Park, Glenravel on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Aoife McGowan and defenders Orla Donnelly, Catherine McShane and Bronagh McKeague were always on top of their markers in the winners’ defence, while Ballycastle managed to crowd the middle of the pitch leaving space up front for the lively Caoimhe Wright and Maeve Kelly to exploit.
Team captain Wright led the way with a brilliant return of 1-10, but it was Kelly’s 12th minute goal that really set the winners on their way.
Loughgiel had opened with points from Anna Connolly and Roisin McCormick, but overall they were more subdued than usual with Amy Boyle in a defensive role and Roisin McCormick left with too much work around the middle third.
Kelly’s goal made it 1-1 to 0-2 and Wright quickly added 0-2. Although McCormick pegged those scores back with two frees, Wright added 1-2 before the short whistle to take her team clear on 2-5 to 0-4.
The third quarter was very evenly contested and the Shamrocks managed to pull the deficit back to 2-7 to 1-7 with a goal from substitute Mary McKillen and a point from a Charley McCarry free.
However Aoife Toner responded quickly with a Ballycastle point and Caoimhe Wright added four more over the next ten minutes, three from open play before Mary McKillen bagged her second goal four minutes from time.
However the Town defence resumed control and saw out a five points’ win.
In the B final played earlier, Tír na nÓg took a first ever title to Randalstown with a comfortable 1-14 to 0-8 win over Cushendall, who had also opened the scoring with a Siobhan McKillop point.
Áine Devlin however pointed four times in the opening half and Niamh Martin added a late goal for an interval lead of 1-7 to 0-5.
They pushed on during the second half with Emma Louise McAreavey and Áine Devlin both pointing on three occasions to win by a margin of nine points.
Ballycastle : Caoimhe Wright 1-10, 0-4 frees, Maeve Kelly 1-0, Áine Donnelly 0-1, Aoife Toner 0-1.
Loughgiel : Mary McKillen 2-0, Roisin McCormick 0-4, 0-3 frees, Charley McCarry 0-2, 0-1 free Anna Connolly 0-1.
Tir na nÓg : Niamh Martin 1-0, Áine Devlin 0-7, 0-6 frees, Emma Louise McAreavey 0-3, Caitlin McCaughey 0-2, Emily Falloon 0-2.
Cushendall : Ellen Leech 0-3, Siobhan McKillop 0-2, Molly O’Hara 0-2, Niamh Conlon 0-1.