Ulster Junior Club Camogie Championship
Crosserlough (Cavan) 1-10 Loughgiel Shamrocks (Antrim) 2-6
By Seamus McAleenan
THERE are several reasons why Crosserlough held on to their NWP Recycling Ulster Junior club title in Moy on Saturday afternoon.
You could point to Loughgiel’s failure to push on from an interval lead of 2-3 to 0-5 gained playing into the strong breeze, that same breeze dying during the second half, a penalty save from Charley McCarry, the Cavan side’s judicious use of Ciara Finnegan at sweeper until the last five minutes when she was pushed up front to score 1-1, even a bit of fortune near the end.
The main reason however was the sheer will of Crosserlough to hold on to the Phil McBride Cup that saw them come from four points down in the last five minutes to snatch victory through two Sinead McKenna frees in injury-time.
All Crosserlough key players delivered particularly during the second half – Erinn Galligan, Ciara Finnegan, Sinead McKenna – while Loughgiel struggled to convert territorial advantage into scores.
The Shamrocks managed just three points between the 16th and 56th minutes, and each time Crosserlough cancelled the score with a point of their own inside a minute.
Charley McCarry pointed a free in response to Crosserlough’s 56th minute goal, Ciara Finnegan catching a high hopeful ball from Sinead McKenna on the edge of the square and hand-passing to the net. But the Shamrocks were powerless as Crosserlough finished strongly.
Ciara Finnegan fired over a great point on 58 minutes and then Sinead McKenna took points from the two pressure frees in injury-time, the second dropping over off the inside of the post.
It was all in contrast to the opening half when Loughgiel dominated despite McKenna firing over two excellent opening points. Kirsty McKendry pointed a free and then in the 7th minute Ciara Laverty picked up a Shauna Devlin pass, cut in from the corner and lifted the net.
There was more trouble for Crosserlough at the end of the first quarter with Laverty hoovering up a poor poc out and sent Charley McCarry clear to hit the net.
2-2 to 0-3 down Crosserlough struggled to get a foothold in the game. Although they conceded just a single point during the second quarter and scored twice through Niamh Reilly, their situation didn’t look promising at the break.
But champions are often hard to separate from the trophy they have held for a year and that determination shone through during their second half to eventually take them over the line.
Crosserlough : Annie Smith, Angela O’Reilly, Sinead Coyle, Lorna Cahill, Katelyn McGonnell, Erinn Galligan capt, Eveleen O’Reilly, Aoishe O’Reilly, Orla Smith, Niamh Reilly (0-3, 0-2 frees), Larraine Day, Sinead McKenna 0-6, 0-3 frees, Ciara Finnegan (1-1), Aine Finnegan, Emer McVeety.
Subs : Lauren Ellis for A O’Reilly (20), Hannah Boylan 0-1 for E O’Reilly (48).
Loughgiel : Eimhear Boyle, Meghan McGarry, Katie Lynn, Aine Doran, Eimhear McGarry, Katie McKillop, Aoife O’Mullan, Louise McKillop capt., Clare McKillop (0-1), Hannah McKeague (0-1), Kirsty McKendry (0-2 frees), Shauna Devlin, Ciara Dobbin, Charley McCarry (1-1), Ciara Laverty (1-1).
Subs : Anna Connolly for K McKendry (31), Annie Lynn for C Dobbin (52), Cara McIntyre for S Devlin (57).
Referee : Malachy McToal (Derry)
Pics by Sean Paul McKillop