Junior ties down for decision in camogie championships

dohertywoodshavings copyWednesday 7pm

Doherty Wood Shavings Junior Championship semi-final

Ballycastle : Dunloy v Armoy

by Seamus McAleenan

Last year’s beaten Junior finalists Dunloy can get back into the decider this Wednesday evening when they play Armoy in Ballycastle.

After winning Division 3 last year, Dunloy have spent this season in Division 2 and finished just below halfway, a creditable enough performance given that many of the players are quite young.

They also took out St Paul’s in the first round of the Junior championship and that was a St Paul’s team that finished runners-up to Loughgiel in Division 3.

However since that game, they have lost Mary Martin (scorer of 0-7 against St Paul’s) as she featured in the narrow senior championship defeat to Ballycastle.

However the overall team unit is stronger than their opponents Armoy who had a comfortable first round victory over St Enda’s. However the context is that Armoy finished in the second half of the Division 3 league table while Dunloy were winning games in the grade above them.

Players like Marie Hamilton. Lucia McCormick, Niamh Butler and the Devlins (Ciara and Caitriona) will work hard, but I can’t see them stopping Dunloy reaching a second successive final.

dohertywoodshavings copyDoherty Wood Shavings Junior Shield final

St Paul’s : St Paul’s v Ahoghill

 

The other game at Junior level is for the Doherty Wood Shavings Shield with holders St Paul’s Belfast gaining home venue against Ahoghill.

This should be an evenly balanced game as both teams finished close to the top of Division 3, but simply encountered strong first round opponents in the championship.

St Paul’s went down by 2-13 to 1-6 against Dunloy, while Ahoghill tested Loughgiel at times before losing on a 4-10 to 3-18 score-line.

Home venue will suit the Belfast side and they have quite a few strong players in their team. Ahoghill have some fine young players coming through in Aine Graham and Maura Downey who both featured in the All-Ireland Under 16 final on Saturday and Caitriona Graham who captained the Antrim minors to their All-Ireland title earlier in the season. Indeed Áine and Maura accounted for all but a point of their side’s total against Loughgiel.

Noreen Graham was well held against Loughgiel but if the former Saffron senior can exercise an increased influence on the game in this final, Ahoghill could well upset the form-book and relieve St Paul’s of the Shield.

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