by Michael Costello
2017 Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship -Round 1
Antrim 5-12 Tipperary 1-12 from Tír na nÓg , Randalstown
Antrim got off to a great start in this year’s Intermediate Championship today with an immeasurably better performance than last weekend’s Ulster Final defeat in Swatragh at the hands of Derry. Perhaps the rather small attendance at this game reflected an assumption that the Illustrious visitors would be too strong for a young Antrim side but nothing could have been further from the truth as Captain Aileen McManus drove her team on like a women possessed.
The Saffrons roared into action from the throw-in with Cushendall’s Orlagh O’Hara tapping in a goal after 30 seconds to shell-shock the visitors. Antrim then ran up a quick series of points before Tipperary could react. Emma Connor hammered over a great point and Portglenone’s Katie McAleese added a fine goal plus three points from placed balls to put Antrim in a very strong position. Tipperary finally got on the score sheet with two quick points from Aoife Moloughney, the first of which was a free. Antrim were moving the sliotar quickly and accurately and were rewarded with a fine Maédhbh Laverty goal following a great build-up. Tipperary fought hard to stay in the game and two successive Elaine Murphy points and another from Andrea Loughnane kept the game alive for them. Antrim pushed on in style and Orlagh O’Hara, Emma Connor, and Anna Kelly all sent points over the Tipperary bar before Emily Falloon on her home pitch forced the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble. A few moments later, however, Tipperary managed to grab a late first half goal via the hurl of Joanne Ryan to keeps their hopes alive for the second half.
Half time Antrim 4-07 Tipperary 1-05
The second half saw Antrim returning to their “Swatragh Syndrome “, of last week by making a very lethargic start which resulted in Tipperary running up no less than seven points without reply and ruthlessly cutting Antrim’s lead to four points. Luckily the Saffrons were able to re-focus themselves and snap out of the doldrums and Katie McAleese converted a free followed by quick points from substitute Caoimhe Wright making her senior debut and Emily Falloon who had made her own last weekend against Derry. Both of these young players are fresh from Antrim’s all conquering minor panel and are now looking for bigger fish to fry! Caoimhe Wright didn’t disappoint as she hammered two more points over the Tipperary bar and despite three more Andrea Loughnane points in a late charge by the visitors, Orlagh O’Hara finished the day as she had begun with a well worked goal to assure Antrim of a deserved victory. This win will give Antrim confidence for their trip to Kildare in a fortnight’s time and more importantly the indications are that they are slowly shaping into a decent team pattern and there is nothing quite like a good win to start your championship. Final score Antrim 5-12 Tipperary 1-12
Antrim Scorers – Orlagh O’Hara 2-01 , K.McAleese 1-04 (3f), Emma Connor 0-02 , Maédhbh Laverty 1-00, Anna Kelly 0-01, Emily Falloon 1-01 , Caoimhe Wright 0-03.
Tipperary Scorers -A.Moloughney 0-03, A.Loughnane 0-05 (2f) E.Murphy 0-03, J.Ryan 1-0 , L. Loughnane 0-01
Antrim Line -out N.Cosgrove, L. Reid, K.Donnelly, C.Patterson, N.Donnelly(sub E.Costello), A. McManus (capt), S, Martin, E. McFadden , A.Kelly, M. Elliot (sub C.Wright), K.McAleese, E.Connor, M.Laverty (sub C.McAleenan) E.Falloon , O.O’Hara. Subs : S. Armstrong, A.Devlin.
Tipperary Line -out -L. Horgan, C.Brennan, C. Casey, L. Cahill, L. Loughnane, A.Morris, L.Dwyer, A.Dwyer, N.Treacy, A.Quigley, A.Loughnane, S.Delaney, E.Murphy, J.Ryan, A.Moloughney, Subs: C.McGrath, N.Long, E.Ryan, R.Cahill.