Karen Coyles Under 14 Championship Final
McQuillan’s 4.05 Dunloy 2.07
The Karen Coyles U14 cup was brought back to Ballycastle yesterday in a thrilling game served up by the young Dunloy and Ballycastle camogs. The game hung in the balance with 3 minutes to go with both sides level until Ballycastle broke through with a late goal and point to ensure the victory.
Play started off at a blistering pace with a quick ball played from the throw in to Cassie McArthur who had made a tactical switch to corner forward. The Dunloy ace made no mistake about where she was going and blasted to the net with just 30 seconds gone. Bríd Magill broke down the ball from the puck out and again delivered to McArthur who struck her first point to leave the ‘Castle girls 4 points in arrears inside the first 2 minutes. Ballycastle settled and worked their way back into the game with a fine solo effort from midfield Charly McQuillan and when Aoibheann Donnelly picked out the roaming Ellen Mc Intosh who hit the net levelling the game for the first time after 10 minutes. Cassie McArthur added another point which was evened out at the other end with an Aoibheann Donnelly free. Dunloy continued to put pressure on the McQuillan’s defence and Bronach Magill notched up another 3 points from open play to leave a gap of 3 between the teams. Ballycastle worked hard to try to penetrate the Dunloy defence and were thwarted on many occasions by the excellent Katie Molloy clearing her lines and taking the pressure off her team. Faye McIntosh moved to the half forward line just before half time and r a strong solo run and was unlucky not to raise the green flag as her shot just went over the bar. This left Ballycastle trailing by 2 points at the break.
Ballycastle started the second half with increased work rate and had created 3 scoring opportunities in the first minute but did not make them count. However, a quick ball delivered by Noelle McAuley found Lauren McBride on the edge of the square and she made no mistake of this sending it low for a goal to bring them back ahead. This was soon followed by a goal for Faye Mc Intosh and an Aoibheann Donnelly free left Ballycastle leading by 5.
The excellent Eimear Johnson continued to rally the Dunloy girls by working industriously in midfield, delivering balls into the forwards, with Clannaid O’Kane also trying to get round the Ballycastle defence. However the Ballycastle backs, led by captain Rhona Brolly, kept Dunloy’s attacks at bay with Eva Graham also remaining solid. Dunloy’s increased pressure paid off when Cassie McArthur pounced on a loose ball and pulled it into the Ballycastle net. This score boosted Dunloy and was soon followed by another Cassie McArthur point from a free and Bronach Magill got her 4th point of the day to level the game with just 3 minutes of normal time remaining.
A Kaci-Lee Hunter point which came from a fine passage of play from the young camogs gave the Castle girls the narrowest of margins. Dunloy once again went in search of the equalilser and this time it was Aoibh Mullan who came out of the Ballycastle defence to deny Dunloy. A missed opportunity in front of nets for Ballycastle kept the crowd holding their breath as Dunloy made one final push only to have Orla McIlroy gather the ball for the town girls sending it in high to the edge of the square. A goal mouth scramble ensued with Ballycastle raising the green flag to the relief of their supporters as it gave them a 4 point lead with only 2 minutes of injury time to be played. This was to be the final score of what County Chairperson Julia Mc Mullan described as being ‘an outstanding game of camogie from both teams’.
Charly McQuillan 0.1
Aoibheann Donnelly 0.2 (frees)
Ellen McIntosh 1.0
Faye McIntosh 2.1
Kaci-Lee Hunter 0.1
Cassie McArthur 2.3
Bronagh Magill 0.4