All-Ireland Under 16 B camogie final
Pics by Dylan McIlwaine
Antrim 2-13 Laois 2-13
Antrim and Laois will have it all to do again next Saturday after a 58th minute point from a 40 metres free by Roisin McCormick rescued the Saffrons in a thrilling contest in Drumlane on Saturday.
All four goals were turning points in the game, but the pivotal moment came in the 44th minute when McCormick broke free of the cover and created a one-on-one with Laois goalie Aedin Lowry. Lowry somehow got in the way of the shot, but conceded a free which McCormick pointed to put her side four points ahead at 2-11 to 1-10. A goal though would surely have killed off Laois, who failed to score for the opening 20 minutes of that second half.
The midlanders were masters of the opening half however and consistently pressed Antrim at half-back to run up a 1-10 to 1-5 interval lead.
The goal came in the 5th minute with full-forward Kirsten Keenan sharp to react when a shot was parried by Kirsty McFerran. Although Roisin McCormick responded with Antrim’s opening point, Laois pushed on to open a 1-4 to 0-1 lead that then stretched to 1-6 to 0-4 by the end of the first quarter.
Then came the Antrim goal, Méabh Allen and Maura Downey combining well to set up Roisin McCormick for an exquisite finish from 25 metres.
Although Laois cancelled it with three points in a row, McCormick brought her first half tally to 1-4 just before the turnover.
It took Antrim just three minutes of the second half to cancel out the five points’ interval lead; a free from McCormick was followed quickly by a long range point from Maura Downey and then a solo goal from McCormick.
Antrim pressed on and, helped by four more points from the brilliant McCormick, they led by four going into the last 10 minutes.
Suddenly a Laois goal, a fine solo effort from an Aine Cuddy break out of a ruck in midfield, changed the game once more. Kirsten Keenan pointed three frees and with four minutes left, Antrim’s challenge looked in trouble.
However late points from Downey and McCormick rescued them, the latter bringing her tally to a magnificent 2-10.
It wasn’t a one-player show however. Roisin McCormick was the cutting edge when isolated up front, but that only really developed following a triple substitution at half-time, with Mary McKillen and Katie Laverty backing up excellent work from Maeve Kelly and Caoimhe McNaughton around the middle.
However Antrim’s planning for the replay will note the performances of Clodagh Tynan, Amy Byrne along with the dangerous Aine Cuddy and Kirsten Keenan up front.
Antrim : Kirsty McFerran, Megan McGarry, Eilish Kearns, Emma Louise McAreavey capt., Aoife O’Mullan, Fionnuala Toner, Caitlin Crawford, Maeve Kelly 0-1, Caoimhe McNaughton, Maura Downey 0-2, Molly Woulahan, Carla McGarry, Áine Graham, Roisin McCormick 2-10, 0-8 frees, Méabh Allen.
Subs : Enya McShane for F Toner, Mary McKillen for Á Graham and Katie Laverty for M Woulahan (all h.t.)
Laois : Aedin Lowry, Jade Bergin, Aimee Collier, Niamh Crowley, Molly O’Connor, Clodagh Tynan, Fianna Byrne, Jessie Quinlan, Amy Byrne, Cora Cuddy, Catherine Galbraith 0-2, Áine Cuddy 1-2, Eimear Fitzpatrick, Kirsten Keenan 1-8, 0-5 frees, Alanna Tynan 0-1.
Subs: Shona Jones for C Cuddy (28), Lily McCormick for N Crowley (36).
Referee : Jenny Byrne (Dublin)