Antrim Fire Stop & Seal Ltd senior championship semi-final
Ruairí Óg Cushendall 1-10 Rossa 0-11
By Seamus McAleenan
RUAIRÍ ÓG Cushendall will not mind one bit that this opening Antrim Fire Stop & Seal Ltd senior championship semi-final in Ahoghill on Saturday was high in endeavour but low in quality as they qualified for their first county senior final since 2000.
Sinéad Cosgrove’s 8th minute goal proved the difference between the teams although there were claims as the game rolled into injury-time that a speculative shot from the excellent Orla McCaul had come off the frame of the Cushendall net and not a post for play to continue.
Rossa will look back on some misdirected efforts at scores over the course of the second half during which they scored just two Bronagh Orchin frees, one at the start and the other at the end of the half.
In between Cushendall did enough to reel in their interval lead of a single point and open a three point lead, mainly through frees from Orlagh O’Hara (3) and Dervla Cosgrove.
O’Hara though was guilty of some first half misses; going for goal from a 20m free when Cushendall were already 1-2 to 0-2 up after ten minutes playing into the breeze, a penalty which was barged down and another free from closer than 30 metres out.
Rossa come close to grabbing a goal late in the game. Pic by Dylan McIlwaine
Those all helped Rossa to find a foothold in the game and with McCaul in excellent form, Natalie McGuinness making some penetrative runs and Orchin tapping over the frees the city side took a 0-9 to 1-3 lead closing in on the break.
However Orlagh O’Hara closed the gap with one from play and another from a free to leave the minimum between the sides with wind-advantage to come for the ‘Dall.
However they failed to push on, due mainly to a battling defensive performance from the Quinns and Caragh Shannon. But they did manage to tap over a score after each five minutes’ of play and those were enough to take them through to the final on Sunday week.
Ruairí Óg : Noeleen Cosgrove, Aoife McClafferty, Claire Kearney capt., Clodagh McKillop, Colleen Patterson, Laura McMullan, Caoimhe McNaughtnon, Dervla Cosgrove (0-2 frees), Siobhán McKillop (0-1), Orlagh O’Hara (0-6, 0-5 frees), Ellen Leech, Naomi McCurry, Caoimhe O’Hara, Sinéad Cosgrove (1-0), Brogan Abram.
Rossa : Colleen Doherty, Dervla Lees, Caragh Shannon, Eimear Matthews, Caoimhe Quinn, Muirinn Quinn, Caoimhe McNeice, Orlagh McCall (0-2), Nicole Killen, Eimear Byrne (0-1 free) Natalie McGuiness (0-2), Bronagh Orchin capt. (0-5 frees), Mairead Rainey, Grainne Connolly (0-1), Sarah Armstrong
Sub: Aisling McCaul for M Rainey (49)
Referee : John McHenry
Pics by Dylan McIlwaine