‘Dunloy Cuchullains win inaugural Ulster Minor Camogie title’

Alice Kirkpatrick Memorial Ulster Minor Club Camogie Tournament Final

Dunloy (Antrim) 3.13 – 0.04 Eglish (Tyrone)

Report by John McArthurPhotos by Mark Doherty

On Sunday the 1st December 2019, Dunloy minor camogs powered their way to victory over challengers Eglish (Tyrone), in the inaugural Alice Kirkpatrick Memorial Ulster Minor Camogie Tournament Final, on a score-line of 3.13 to 0.04. Hosted by Michael Davitt GAC, Swatragh, the competition was held in honour of their longstanding committee member and gael. This was the first hosting of the tournament and both Dunloy and Eglish had progressed to the final, after resounding semi-final victories over Laragh Utd. (Cavan) and St. Eunan’s (Donegal) respectively. With fine dry weather on the day and the pitch ever drying, a good crowd was in attendance, anticipating the meeting between the two teams. Dunloy advanced to the final as favourites, but the Eglish team was the sharper out of the blocks and raced into a two-point lead without reply – within the first 5 minutes. Indeed, Eglish were to battle gamely throughout and fought for every ball until the end.

Playing with a slight breeze, Eglish dominated the opening exchanges, deploying their No. 12 (and current Ulster Colleges Camogie All-Star), Reagan Fay, as a ‘third mid-fielder’. Cassie Mc Arthur opened the Dunloy scoring with two points in the 6th and 9th minutes, with Reagan Fay restoring the Eglish lead at 0.2 to 0.3 in the 12th minute. Dunloy’s centre three-quarters, Caitlin Crawford, levelled matters on the 18th-minute mark with a well-taken point; and with the Dunloy half-back line of Eimear Mc Mullan, Katie Laverty and Katie Molloy, now getting on top, the forward threat posed by Eglish was curtailed.

Indeed, any ball breaking through this line, was cleared-up by Eilish Kearns at full-back and Sarah Mc Illhatton and Amy Johnston in the corners. From the18th-minute until the end-of-the-first-half, Eglish would fail to register any further score. The last ten minutes of the first-half, would see the game turn in Dunloy’s favour – after a spirited showing by Eglish – with Dunloy’s Ulster Colleges Camogie All-Star mid-field pairing of Aine Magill and Caoimhe Molloy, dominating broken-play, and providing quality ball to the inside forward-line. With the Dunloy forwards now on the front-foot, amid determined tackling by the Eglish defence, goal-chances start to open up. Corner-forward Clodagh O’ Kane opened Dunloy’s goal-account on the 22-minute mark; quickly followed by points apiece, from Kyra Doherty and team-captain Erin Traynor; with Cassie Mc Arthur goaling in the 28th minute – to conclude the first-half scoring. At the break, Dunloy turning around on an 8-point lead – 2.05 to 0.03.

Dunloy opened the second-half more purposely, reeling off four points without reply: two from the stick of Mc Arthur; one from a ‘45’ from Caoimhe Molloy; and one from a 35-yard free from Aine Magill. With the Eglish defence now under constant pressure, little ball was being transferred into their forward-line, and it was not until the 45th minute, that Eglish recorded their only score of the half – a point from a free by Reagan Fay. Dunloy were to score a further 1.04 in the last 10 minutes of the half: with Mc Arthur scoring a point, to bring her tally to 1.05 from play for the day; and Caitlin Crawford, Aine Magill and Kyra Doherty scoring further points apiece – Doherty’s a fine individual effort, cutting in from the right hand-side and scoring from distance. Indeed, the Dunloy management was able to ‘empty the bench’ in the concluding stages and wing half-back, Katie Molloy, concluding the scoring in the 58th minute – with a goal from distance.

Overall, a comprehensive display from Dunloy – after a slow start – and Eglish lost nothing in defeat, valiantly fighting for every ball and possession until the end. Yet, Dunloy just had too much fire-power up front and dominant players in defence and midfield, and have proved them-selves worthy winners of this inaugural Ulster Minor Club Camogie Tournament. This now draws to a conclusion the minor club camogie season and within the next two weeks, it is hard to believe, that no fewer than 18 of this Dunloy panel, will be opposition to each other, as they line out for their respective colleges, in the Ulster Colleges Camogie Senior A semi-final between Cross and Passion College, Ballycastle and St. Louis, Ballymena.

N.B. Congratulations must be forwarded to Michael Davitt GAC, Swatragh, on the hosting of this tournament and in the catering for all teams and supporters, throughout the period of the tournament.

DUNLOY

Kirsty Mc Ferran, Sarah Mc Illhatton, Eilish Kearns, Amy Johnston, Katie Molloy, Katie Laverty, Eimear Mc Mullan, Aine Magill, Caoimhe Molloy, Brid Magill, Caitlin Crawford, Kyra Doherty, Clodagh O’ Kane, Cassie Mc Arthur, Erin Traynor (Capt.)

Subs: Jessica Blaney, Eimear Johnston, Bronagh Magill, Orla Mc Mullan, Blaithin O’ Kane, Caitlin Cochrane, Jane O’ Boyle, Caoimhe Mc Colgan

Referee: Eamonn Hasson (Swatragh)   

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