Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship semi-final
Antrim v Laois
(Saturday, 3.15pm, Inniskeen)
Antrim Camogs join their football counterparts as they bid for a place in the the All-Ireland final this weekend when they take on Laois in Inniskeen in the semi-final of the Intermediate Championship.
Iniskeen has proved a profitable venue for the Saffrons in recent weeks and It will be Antrim’s third successive visit to the Monaghan venue having already defeated Carlow and Meath there in recent weeks.
Antrim defeated Carlow 5-10 to 4-9 last month in a very tight and entertaining contest before claiming the scalp of Meath 1-16 to 2-9 in the second round to secure their place in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final.
Laois needed extra-time to defeat Kerry in last weekend’s quarter-final clash and Antrim joint-manager Paul McKillen insists he is happy to return to Inniskeen for Saturday’s last four clash.
The Ballycastle man and his managerial colleague, Jimbo McKieran have brought a wealth of experience and knowhow to the Antrim challenge this year and the Saffron ladies have responded with a number of outstanding performances.
Antrim have had to travel South for all their games this term but Iniskeen should hold no fears for the Saffron girls and might even feel like a home venue given their experiences in recent weeks
“We are over the border again and we are getting used to it at this stage. It is a nice pitch, a great ground and good people down there who are looking after us very well.
“The pitch is in good nick, the grass is a bit long, but they hosted a couple of games last week so it should be well down” said the Ballycastle man.Antrim have been in excellent form this season. A late 1-2 burst from Carlow in their opening game gave a false impression on the scoreboard, but Antrim were always in command with Roisin McCormack (two), Orlagh O’Hara (two) and Meave Kelly bagging the goals in a 5-10 to 4-9 win in Inniskeen.
Yet, their win 1-16 to 2-9 over the Royal County earlier this month was, arguably, even more impressive and McKillen is very pleased with the commitment and dedication of the squad, which has endured a huge turnover of players since the beginning of 2020.
Despite that turnover of players since the start of the league in February the Antrim team are in good shape and looking forward to Saturday’s meeting with Laois
The former Antrim hurling ace turned his attention to their semi-final opponents last weekend as Laois and Kerry clashed in the quarter-final.
The Kingdom looked set to claim the semi-final berth, but were caught late on as Laois forced extra-time before running out 1-10 to 1-6 winners.
Laois and Kerry cancelled each other out to some extent, but Kerry pulled away towards the end of the game and looked like they were going to win.
Laois came back strongly and got their scores at the right time but they were a bit fortunate to get the equaliser in normal time.
After that, they pulled clear in extra-time and looked that bit fitter and are sure to offer Antrim a serious challenge on Saturday but it is a challenge they are capable of winning.