Another heart breaking defeat for Antrim camogs

Liberty Insurance All Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship from Tír na nÓg Randalstown

Antrim 2-13 Kilkenny 6-02

By Michael Costello

0-52Antrim have suffered yet another agonisingly close defeat with a one point loss to Kilkenny following a couple of two point defeats away to Kildare and Wexford in recent weeks. Injuries and unavailability of players were again key factors in determining the outcome of this close game in the opinion of manager Aidan McKeown. “I can’t fault the girls for effort but we are losing games we are well capable of winning and it is very frustrating. We haven’t had much luck..” Antrim will wonder how they lost this home tie after holding the visitors for an entire game to a single point from play, but the facile manner  n which they  conceded  six goals, most of which were preventable, will  give McKeown and Baldwin food for thought.

Antrim started the game well and Orlagh O’Hara fired home an early goal for the Saffrons following good approach work from Caoimhe McAleenan who found her with an accurate cross field pass. O’Hara then converted a free before Kilkenny’s left corner forward Eadaoin Murphy turned a loose ball into the Antrim net for what was to be the first of three goals for her in this game. She tapped home another past a sleeping  Saffron defence a short time later  before the alarm bells started to ring and Antrim snapped out of their lethargy. Aine Devlin , on her home pitch, converted a  45 and four successive frees with great confidence to re -launch the saffron ship but yet again slack marking at the back allowed Kilkenny to slip in with two goals and a point which they scarcely deserved on the run-of -play. Devlin then dropped a free over the Kilkenny goalkeeper for a welcome home goal to leave a half time score of- Antrim 2-06 Kilkenny 4-01

Antrim came out of the changing rooms fired up and started the second half well by taking the first three scores via the sticks of Anna Kelly, Emily Falloon and Katie McAleese to move a couple of points ahead but back came Kilkenny with two goals in two minutes converted by Lydia Fitzpatrick and Mags Fennelly to dampen the hopes of the small scattering of home supporters. Fitzpatrick then converted a free for Kilkenny leaving Antrim with a five point deficit to chase in the last ten minutes which they came very close to meeting. Aine Devlin converted three frees with a steady nerve and in the dying moments of the game a penalty was awarded to Antrim despite furious Kilkenny protests. Sadly the ball was struck  just over the bar for a point and  referee Gavin Donegan drew the game to a conclusion with Kilkenny winning by the smallest of margins. Final Score Antrim 2-13 Kilkenny 6-02

Antrim’s final championship game is against Derry on 12th August (home fixture)

Antrim Scorers O.O’Hara 1-02 (2f) A.Devlin 1-08 (frees) E.Falloon 0-01 , A.Kelly 0-01 , K.McAleese 0-01

Kilkenny scorers E.Murphy 3-01 N. Bambrick 1-00 L. Fitzpatrick 1-01(f) M. Fennelly 1-00

Antrim-N.Cosgrove, L. Reid , K.Donnelly, C.Patterson, N.Donnelly, E. McFadden, N.McQuillan, A.Kelly, S.Woulahan, M. Elliot, A.Devlin, C.McAleenan, O.O’Hara , E.Falloon, S. Armstrong.  Subs used K.McAleese, A. McManus

Kilkenny- A.Norris, T.Clifford,C.Murphy, N.Madden, M.Kennedy, D.Kenny  C.O’Shea, E.Moore, O.Hanrick, C.Lyng, N.Bambrick, M.Hoynes, B.Kilbane, L.Fitzpatrick, E.Murphy.Sub-M.Fennelly

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