Antrim Intermediate Championship Final: Saturday 12th September
4pm in St Enda’s : Tír na nÓg v Rossa
Antrim Junior Championship Final: Saturday 12th September
4pm in Portglenone : Creggan v Naomh Eoin Bhéal Feirste
ROSSA are back in a county final. Their last at adult level was seven years ago when they defeated Portglenone to take their tenth senior title.
Since then they have dropped down the pecking order at senior and this season re-graded to Division Two and Intermediate championship, a move that has rejuvenated their six more experienced players, all of whom have All-Ireland club medals from 2008.
That experience is strategically placed through the team with the half-back line of Orlagh McCall, Muireann Quinn and Bronagh Orchin the rock upon which their semi-final win over Brídíní Óga Glenravel was built.
Behind them Caoimhe Quinn was sound at full-back and Natalie McGuinness and Mairiosa McGourty strong in attack. They have brought the best out of their team-mates and the pace of Caoimhe McNeice and Eimear Byrne will trouble most teams.
Tír na nÓg are unbeaten this year in league and championship and had sealed a spot in the final as early as the first water break last week when they had a 2-6 to 0-0 lead over Dunloy.
The Randalstown girls are physically strong all over the pitch with pace in wing defence from Cameron McGaughey and Emma Louise McAreavey, while the return of the experienced Michaela Hegarty has added a lot in attack.
She scored the opening goal last week and All-Ireland winning minors of a couple of seasons ago, Emily Falloon and the Devlin twins, are very accurate as well.
It will probably suit Rossa to enter the game as underdogs, but they have come through a much tougher semi-final and that could stand to them – as well as their big game experience.
Another Belfast club that dropped a grade will contest the Junior final against Creggan who fought hard in last year’s decider against an Ahoghill side that went on to claim Ulster honours.
As in the Intermediate final, Creggan have come through with an unbeaten run in league and championship while St John’s lost to Gort na Móna in the league, but overcame them in a hard-fought championship semi-final last week.
Those two derby battles could stand to the Corrigan ladies.