First half goal blitz sets Cushendall up for shock win

Antrim Camogie League – Division 1

Cushendall 6-08 Dunloy 2-11

A first half goal blitz from the home side had this game won by half time but a second half come back from Dunloy made life that bit more uncomfortable for the Ruairi Og girls. In the end an injury time goal forced home by Sinead Cosgrove and a pointed free from Orlagh O’Hara made the result safe and the two points.

Dunloy came into this game on the back of an impressive win over Ballycastle and for Cushendall it was their first competitive outing of the year but it was the home side who started the more hungry and this was to show in the first five minutes of play.

Three goals and a point were scored by the Ruairi girls as they blew the Dunloy defence apart. Firstly, Dervla Cosgrove raised the green flag then followed by a double by full forward Orlagh O’Hara to made it 0-00 to 3-01 to the home side.

Dunloy got themselves on the score board with a point from a Nicole O’Neill free which she then repeated not long after to give Dunloy two points in a row. However, Cushendall wiped this out with yet another goal on the score board.

A sideline from Dervla Cosgrove was struck brilliantly into the Dunloy box and it managed to end up in the net to leave it 4-01 to 0-02 and Dunloy in serious trouble.

Aine Magill got her teams first point from play with a well worked score wide on the right-hand side of the field but points from Sinead and Dervla Cosgrove sandwiched between another Nicole O’Neill free maintained the home sides comfortable lead.

Dunloy did have chances for goals with Erin Elliott hitting the post and Nicole O’Neill having her shot well saved by Leah Cosgrove in nets to get back into contention but they were not ruthless enough compared to the home side who yet again found their way through for a fifth goal.

Siobhan McKillop fired long into the Dunloy full back line and the ball broke to Amiee McDonnell to fire how low in the net to leave the half time score Cushendall 5-05 Dunloy 0-05.

With the wind at their backs and nothing to lose Dunloy started well with Aileen McManus slotting over a free. This was in turn wiped out by two long range Dervla Cosgrove frees. But unbelievably this would turn out to be their last score for the next 25minutes of the second half as Dunloy turned the game on its head and were on top for the remainder of it.

A pointed free from Nicole O’Neill was followed by a close range shot from corner forward Michaela Elliott and 5 minutes later followed up by a tap in from substitute Erin Traynor.

All of a sudden, the visitors had the bit between their teeth and were sensing they could get back into the game. The water break came at probably a bad time for the visitors as it gave the home side that time to gather themselves back together where their defence would get back winning the dirty ball.

Claire Kearney and full back Brigid Delargy were working hard to break up the visitor’s attacks and earn their side vital frees to relieve the pressure.

Two more points from Nicole made it 5-07 to 2-09 but Dunloy shot wide on goal when the perfect chance fell to them. The home side then got in on goal as Sinead Cosgrove burst through leaving the Dunloy defence forced to pull here down and concede the penalty. Orlagh O’Hara stepped up but her well placed shot was saved on the line by the defenders and the resulting clearance and shot was missed.

Aine Magill and Nicole O’Neill again split the posts to make it 2-11 to 5-07 but this was as close as Dunloy would get as the Cushendall defence held out strong to prevent any more scores. Sinead Cosgrove got a last min goal after Dervla Cosgrove’s free hit the upright and fell kindly in the box where she fired low making no mistake. Orlagh O’Hara wrapped up a fine evening for herself by tapping over a free right on the final whistle making

A fantastic game for the neutral but probably a nightmare for each set of managements as both sides had strong half’s in contrast to their other.

Cushendalls first half blitz of 5-05 should have had them home on a boat but Dunloy outscored them in the second period 2-07 to 0-02 right into injury time where they bagged 1-01 to secure victory. On looking at the stats Dunloy hit 6 wides in the first half and had two goal shots saved whereas Cushendall didn’t miss a single shot they took on the Dunloy goal giving them the foundation for a well-deserved win.


L Cosgrove, A Leech, B Delargy, A McClafferty, C McNaughton, C Kearney, C McKillop, D Cosgrove, S McKillop, L McMullan, S Cosgrove, B Abram, E Leech, O O’Hara, A McDonnell


A Scott, E McMullan, C Drain, C McGuckian, D Magill, C Conlon, K Laverty, A McManus, C Molloy, A Magill, N O’Neill, S McIlhatton, M Martin, E Elliott, M Elliott

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