NWP Ulster Junior club championship semi-final :
Sunday October 21st 2.30pm in Derrylaughan
Derrylaughan (Tyrone) v Loughgiel Shamrocks (Antrim)
By Seamus McAleenan
This has been a phenomenal year for the Logughiel club with qualification for Ulster competitions at three levels and they are strong contenders to reach this Junior final despite having to travel to Derrylaughan tomorrow (SUNDAY).
At the end of last month they had to dig out a result in the Antrim final after Brídíní Óga recovered from a bad start to take the lead early in the second half.
However the introduction of subs Anna Connolly and Annie Lynn added width and pace to the attack and Lynn scored 1-1 to secure victory.
That victory was secured though by a tight-marking defence that had not leaked scores until the final, with the half-back line of Eimhear McGarry, Katie McKillop andAoife O’Mullan particularly effective.
Five of the team collected All-Ireland minor medals over the past couple of seasons with Antrim including forwards Charley McCarry and Kirsty McKendry, both a scoring threat to the Tyrone side’s aspirations of progress.
Derrylaughan lost narrowly at the semi-final stage of this competition a year ago to eventual champions Crosserlough from Cavan. However they have lost a few players since then through maternity leave and there is a fairly inexperienced look about their team for this game.
Emma and Sian Fitzgerlad, Aisling Corr and Emma Donnelly have been regulars for some time at county level and Bronagh Carney has settled well at centre-half back.
Overall though, Loughgiel look the stronger outfit and should go forward to next weekend’s final