Pics and report by Michael Costello
All -Ireland U 16B Liberty Insurance Camogie championship 2017 – Group 1
Antrim 3-19 Kilkenny 1-09
Antrim U 16’s made a great start to their All Ireland campaign at Corrigan Park today with an excellent win by 16 points over Kilkenny. The visitors got off to a good start with Shanelle Mullins of the Ballyhale Shamrocks opening the scoring and the impressive Beth Grace putting them two points up within a short time but Antrim finally opened their account when Ballycastle’s Maeve Kelly outpaced her marker to clip a point over the bar. Beth Grace replied with a point from a placed ball for Kilkenny but Antrim were getting into their stride and moving the sliotar forward quickly, thanks to good work from Maura Downey and Róisín McCormick in midfield, which resulted in two excellent goals for Maeve Kelly within a ten minute period and a point from a free converted by McCormick. Kilkenny worked hard to stay in the game but their only source of scores was Beth Grace who scored a goal, a fine point from play and in addition sent four frees and a `45 over the Antrim bar. Antrim replied with points from Kelly, McCormick and Carla McGarry to leave the scores level at half time with everything to play for .
Half time Antrim 2-05 Kilkenny 1-08
The second half was a totally different story in contrast to an even first half. The young Saffrons took the game to Kilkenny from the outset and although Beth Grace took the first score of the half from a 20 metre free for the visitors, that was to be their last score of the day as Antrim ran up a stunning series of fourteen points (13 from play) broken only by a fine Maeve Kelly goal created by substitute Molly Woulahan. Kilkenny had no answer to Antrim’s fire and enthusiasm and their best offerings were a shot which struck the crossbar and a close range free which was fired narrowly wide both efforts from Beth Grace. Tiredness after the long trip to Belfast may have been one factor in the poor Kilkenny second half performance but overall this Antrim team had too much pace and guile for them and their management team of Ronan Toner, Carl McCormick and Emmet McNaughton appeared well pleased with their day’s work and can look forward with confidence to a challenging trip to Offaly on July 2nd. (Offaly today beat Meath by 9-12 to 1-08.)
Antrim Scorers- Maeve Kelly- 3-07 Róisín McCormick 0-06 (3f) Carla McGarry 0-01, Áine Graham 0-01, Maura Downey 0-02 , Erin Traynor 0-02
Kilkenny scorers -Beth Grace 1-08 (6f) Shanelle Mullins 0-01
Antrim team – K.McFerran, C.Mathers , E.Kearns, E.McAreavey (capt.), A.O’Mullan, F.Toner, G.Black , R.McCormick, M.Downey, A.Graham, C.Crawford, E.Traynor, C.McGarry. M.Kelly. M.Allen Sub M.Woulahan.