Antrim Under 16 A Camogie Championship final
Cuchullains Dunloy 3-11 MacUilin Ballycastle 2-9
Dunloy won the Under 16A Camogie title when they beat Ballycastle in Wednesday evening’s final at Fr Healy Park, Loughgiel. A scoring burst at the end of the first half, and at the start of the second pulled the Cuchullains eleven clear and it looked like they would cruise to the title, but Ballycastle made them work for their victory and two late goals brought them back to within four. It was a little nervy for the winners for a minute or two but in truth they were always secure and Cassie McArthur sealed it with a late point and had it not been for a couple of outstanding saves by Becky Ellis in the Ballycastle goal it could have been more.
Ballycastle started well and with Riana McBride causing no end of problems for the Dunloy defence they went 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after nine minutes, all four coming from McBride, while the excellent Cassie McArthur got the Dunloy point. However Dunloy were slowly getting on top and points from Aine Magill and Cassie McArthur brought the gap back to a point. Caitlin Heggarty put two between the sides again with a well take point in the eleventh minute but when Aine Magill raced through to set up McArthur for the game’s first goal in the 16th minute Dunloy took control. They dominated the second quarter as McArthur and Aine Magill combined well for a series of excellent scores, McArthur getting her second goal in first half injury time to send her team in at the break with a 2-6 to 0-6 lead.
When Magill completed her hat-trick two minutes into the second half it was a long way back for Ballycastle and it got even worse the Magill sisters Bronagh and Aine added points. There was a spark left in Ballycastle yet however and when Nuala Devlin broke through for a goal on 46 minutes there was a glimmer of hope. Dunloy were still comfortable but a great spell from Rhiana McBride which brought a goal and three in the final quarter closed the gap to just four. Dunloy were still in control and creating the chances but two outstanding saves by Ballycastle goalkeeper Becky Ellis, the first one when denying Bronagh Magill what looked like a certain goal had shades of Limerick goalkeeper Nicky Quaid’s flick to deny Cork’s Patrick Horgan in the All Ireland semi-final. However Dunloy were not to be outdone and player of the match Cassie McArthur ended the game as she started it, with a point from play to clinch a hard fought title.
Clodagh O’Kane, Majella McMullan, Orlagh Stewart, Brid Magill, Sarah McIlhatton, Eimer McMullan, Katie Molloy, Katie Laverty, Caoimhe Molloy, Bronagh Magill, Aine Magill, Kyra Doherty, Caoimhe McColgan, Cassie McArthur, Caitlin Cochrane.
Subs – Orla McMullan for Orlagh Stewart (inj)
Becky Ellis, Maille Donnlly, Erin Kyle, Nuala McCaughan, Fay McIntosh, Enya McShane, Aiobhean Donnelly, Caitlin Heggarty, Nuala Devlin Fionnuala Kelly, Riana McBride, Caoimhe O’Hara, Naoimi Williams, Katie McCloskey, Christina Hamilton.
Referee – Ciaran McCloskey (Loughgiel)
Pics by John McIlwaine