Another super Sunday for the Antrim U16 camogs who produced a scintillating hour of camogie to progress into the All Ireland semi-final.
Travelling to the half way venue of Madden in Co. Armagh Antrim came up against Dublin who had beaten Clare the previous week. Dublin won the toss and decided to play against the elements in the first half. Antrim started brightly and were 3 points up in the first 5 minutes all from the stick of Roisin McCormick. Dublin at this stage started to double up on this threat but all it done was leave space for others to exploit. The Antrim sideline countered this move by positioning the excellent Emma McAreavey to sweep at centre back and so cut out the Dublin ball. Over the half Antrim scored a further 9 points with some magnificent long range points from play particularly from Maeve Kelly who scored 0.04. The Clooney pair of Aine Graham and Maura Downey also added a point apiece from play to leave the score at the short whistle Antrim 0.12 Dublin 0.05.
Similar to last week Antrim made the changes with Enya McShane, Katie Laverty and Mary McKillen being introduced to freshen things up. Again Antrim scored first with another point from the strong running McCormick. Dublin hit back with two points of their own to leave 6 between them with 15 minutes to play. Throughout this initial period the Antrim defence was immense and stayed disciplined, hooking, blocking and winning the dirty ball on the ground. The out ball started to work well with the delivery to the forwards. Roisin McCormick at this point rounded her markers and crashed the ball into the top right hand corner to extend the lead to 9 and minutes later she had a further opportunity to move it to double figures but the Dublin goalie made a great save to deny the Loughgiel star.
Dublin responded with a goal of their own, a shot from 30 yards which went straight to the Antrim net to cut the gap back to six. Who would respond best? Well this Antrim team has bags of character, and it was the girls in the saffron jerseys who would finish the stronger, with further goals from Maeve Allen and Roisin McCormick and a point from the strong running Carla McGarry. Dublin did threaten at the end but the Dunloy duo of Eilis Kearns and Kirsty McFerran stood strong and kept the nets intact.
Everyone asks how did they play, well every girl was excellent, playing with great determination and an abundance of skill, a credit to their clubs and club mentors. It`s hard to pick a player of the match with all ladies being excellent, but special mention to our captain Emma McAreavey who had an excellent hour as the spare player, as she read the game magnificently throughout.
At this stage Antrim are unsure who they play but the semi-final is fixed for next Sunday and is against either, Galway, Laois or Offaly.
K McFerran, M McGarry [GBlack 65], E Kearns, C Mahers [E McShane ht], A O`Mullan, F Toner, E McAreavey, R McCormick 3.08, C McNaughton , M Downey 0.01, M Kelly 0.04, E Traynor [K.Laverty 20], A Graham 0.01 [M McKillen ht], M Woulahan 50 [M Allen 1.00], C McGarry 0.01, O McKeegan, O Carey, L McAleese, A Johnston, C M McStravick.