A couple of shocks in Division 2 while Sarsfields win in Division 3
There were surprises in the opening games of the Division 2 camogie league with the county finalists of the last three seasons both suffering defeats.
Loughgiel 0-8 McQuillan’s 2-4
McQuillan’s camogs held out on a barrage of shots from Loughgiel’s attack on Wednesday evening to see out the game with a 2point margin to secure the points in this first league match of the season. Goal keeper Aoife McGowan made a point blank save from Ciara Laverty as she looked certain to steal victory for the home team, with the resulting save ending up over the end line giving Loughgiel another chance to go for goal , however the Ballycastle defence led ably by both Orla Donnellys and Enya McShane held tight to ensure their win.
The game started with the Shamrock’s Louise McKillop putting them 3 points clear and they looked to be taking control with McQuillan’s struggling to get the ball delivered into their forward line. A great passage of play by Emer O Neill and Fay McIntosh resulted in Emma Connor getting her first touch of the ball which she promptly delivered to the back of the Loughgiel net, signalling her return to Senior Camogie. This was then followed by a Niamh O Neill point from play to put the visitors one ahead for the first time, followed swiftly by Ciara Laverty who was superb running from midfield to level the game. Emma Connor added another point and Orlagh Laverty seized her opportunity to tie the scored just before halftime.
The second half started with a great delivery from Caitlin Heggarty placing the ball in front of the industrious Niamh O Neill who pulled the ball beyond Eimear Boyle who had been solid in the Loughgiel net. Katy Lynn and Finvola McVeigh kept the pressure on delivering ball into their attack with Maedhbh McCormick scoring the first of her two points to keep the home team in touch whilst Niamh O Neill and Clare Scullion pointed for the Town to open the gap back up to three. Loughgiel again pushed forward with Ciara Laverty sending over a fine score to leave two between the teams. This was a hotly contested game with superb team play from both squads.
Rossa 2-14 Brídíní Óga 3-1
Things just weren’t as close in Rossa Park with the home side scoring their first win over visiting Brídíní Óga in three seasons – and that despite Oonagh Ward opening the scoring with a Glenravel goal.
Mairiosa McGourty goaled twice for Rossa and they were in control until a late goal from Aimee Traynor saw the half-time score at 2-6 to 1-1.
Natalie McGuinness and McGourty caused the visitors’ plenty of trouble and they responded to a goal from Torie Edgar with a series of points to run out 2-14 to 3-1 winners – seven of the points scored by McGuinness from play.
Tír na nÓg 5-20 Cargin 0-7
Tír na nÓg opened their campaign with a comfortable 5-20 to 0-7 win over Cargin whose main scorer once again was Katie McAnenly, although her sister Maura was much busier in goals for the Toome side.
Áine Devlin top-scored with 1-10, 1-5 from play with Michaela Hegarty contributing 2-4 on her return to action.
Dunloy 5-7 Ahoghill 0-10
On Tuesday evening Nicole O’Neill scored 1-12 for Dunloy seniors in Division One. On Thursday her sister Orlagh top-scored for the Division Two team in a 5-7 to 0-10 win over newly-promoted Ahoghill. Orlagh scored two goals and a point in each half.
Dunloy led at the break by 3-4 to 0-5 with Clare McGuckian, Fiona Hills and Brid Magill all strong defensively. Caitriona Graham (0-5) and Noreen Graham (0-3) were the main scorers for the Cloney girls
Antrim Senior Camogie League – Division 3B
Sarfields 8-10 Naomh Eanna 2-8
Following four months of inactivity due to lockdown, anticipation was high at the Bear Pit on Thursday evening as Sarsfields welcomed Naomh Eanna camogs for the first senior Camogie game of the year. A fine evening and a perfect playing surface set the scene for what followed.
A very evenly contested first quarter saw both teams battle to gain control and no sooner had one team scored than the other went up the field and replied, but a late Naomh Eanna goal saw Sarsfields go in to the break with a narrow one point lead.
Sarsfields made a number of changes of half time, bringing on several of their younger players to replace tired legs and keep the intensity of the game flowing. The second period started in the same vein as the first with both teams battling for every ball an no quarter ask, or given. However the home side started to get on top and a couple of quick goals from team captain Laura Ferris put a bit of daylight between the teams which Naomh Eanna struggled to claw back and with the Under 20 members on the team contributing greatly Sarsfield pushed on to victory.
This week the girls are at home again when they host St John’s