Senior Camogie League Division 2
Tir na nOg 2-20 Creggan 2-8
By Brendan McTaggart
Tir na nOg maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable 12 point victory over local rivals Creggan on Tuesday evening. This fixture was brought forward from the scheduled date and the Randalstown ladies were in dominant mood, outplaying their opponents for large periods of the match with Aine Devlin, Caitlin Devine and Emily Fallon to the fore. McGaughey and Emma McAreavey scored goals in either half for the home side but the major plus for Tir na nOg was the return of Aimee McAtamney who had been out for over a year with a cruciate injury. McAtamney showed no signs of rustiness by sending over three points in a 10 minute cameo while creating plenty for her team mates.
Creggan showed plenty of fight and in Fiona Maguire and Captain Ruby Rice they have two special camogs. Ciara McCollum scored two majors at the end of each half but ultimately Tir na nOg proved too strong for the Kickhams who still search for a second league victory to add to their earlier win over St John’s.
Tir na nOg held a three point lead when they scored their first goal of the match in the ninth minute. Emily Fallon sent a long ball into the edge of the square with Caitlin McGaughey applying the finish beyond Una McKeown in the Creggan goals. The visitors responded well and cut the gap to five point’s mid-way through the half but four unanswered points put Tir na nOg in the driving seat. Creggan were their own worst enemies in the first half with their lack of accuracy and composure in front of the target letting them down when it mattered most but they did finish the half strongly. Ciara McCollum and Emma McAreavey exchanged scored before McCollum was on hand to score Creggan’s first goal of the contest. The Creggan forward was first to react to a loose sliotar that cannoned back off the woodwork and made no mistake with a strong effort leaving Ciara Devine no chance in the Tir na nOg goals. At half time the home side led 1-9 to 1-5.
A run of four unanswered points after the restart put Tir na nOg back in control, Caitlin McGaughey adding to her first half goal (two) with Shauna O’Neill and Aine Devlin also splitting the uprights before Laura McCann got the Creggan scoreboard ticking again in the second half in the 43rd minute.
With Rice and McCollum always looking dangerous in the Creggan full forward line, the visitors always felt like they had a chance of getting back into the game and were rewarded for their endeavours with a second goal. McCollum applied the finish but the chance was created by a superb pass and smart piece of play from Alicia McAuley but time was running out for the visitors with nine points between the sides.
Tir na nOg’s second goal came under fortuitous circumstances with Creggan ‘keeper misjudging the flight of a long effort from Ciara McCollum, the sliotar dropping behind the Kickhams shot stopper but it just added further gloss to the score line in injury time.
The two points keeps Tir na nOg level at the top of the league with Loughgiel also on ten points while Creggan remain on two points, one point ahead of Portglenone but having played one game more than the Geraldine’s.
Tir na nOg:
Ciara Devine; Aine Dobbin; Caitlin McAreavey; Jennifer McLoughlin; Cameron McGaughey; Caoimhe Crossey; Caitlin Martin; Shauna O’Neill (0-1); Hannah Crilly; Emily Fallon (0-4); Katie McGuckian; Aine Devlin (0-7, 4 frees); Dervla O’Neill; Caitlin McGaughey (1-3); Emma McAreavey (1-1)
Subs: Aimee McAtamney (0-3) for D O’Neill; Naimh Callan (0-1) for K McGuckian; Lauren McAreavey for S O’Neill
Una McKeown; Ciara McAuley; Laura McCann; Anita McAuley; Caoimhe McAteer; Fiona Maguire; Eleanor Shivers; Martina McCann; Laura McCann (0-2, 1 ’45); Bronagh Maguire; Alicia McAuley (0-1); Ruby Marie Rice (0-3); Ciara McCollum (2-1); Susan McIlwee (0-1, 1 free); Megan Nelson
Referee: Ryan O’Reilly (Glenravel)