All Ireland Intermediate Camogie final preview
As we build up to Saturday’s All Ireland final meeting with Down we look back to 2003 when Antrim beat Tipperary in a thrilling final in Pairc Tailteann, Navan. There was little to choose between two very good sides, but the introduction of substitute Elaine Dowds, who is a Coach with the current team, turned the game in the Saffrons favour and brought the silverware back north.
All Ireland Intermediate Camogie Final 2003
Antrim 2-9 Tipperary 0-10
With time ticking away in Saturday’s All Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship final, and Antrim holding onto a slender one point lead, team manager Dominic McKinley sprung super-sub Elaine Dowds off the bench to clinch the winning score and nudge the Saffrons over the finish line. Played as a curtain raiser for the Tyrone v Dublin All Ireland Under 21 final, the big crowd were treated to a very exciting contest, with very little separating two fine teams.
Tipperary took the lead after six minutes when Jill Horan pointed from play but Antrim hit back with a point from Jane Adams two minutes later to tie the scores. Three on the trot from Ger Kinnane, Mary Looby and Trish O’Halaran, edged Tipp ahead but a point from Antrim corner forward Carla Doherty kept Antrim well in touch. The Saffrons hit the front on seventeen minutes when Noelle McCarry fired the ball to the Tipperary net. Aine Mulcachy brought Tipperary back on terms with a point a minute later but with Jane Adams and Edel Mason domination midfield they Saffrons hit three of the next four points to lead by three at the break. 1-5 to 0-6
Tipperary’s top scorer Trish O’Halloran narrowed the gap to the minimum two minutes after the restart but Antrim came back with points from Adams and Mason to open a 1-7 to 0-7 gap. Tipp responded to the challenge and point from O’Halloran and Geraldine Kinnane cut the gap back to a single point, and the Munster side could have taken the lead had Jill Horan not missed a good goal chance on 50 minutes.
Team manager Woody McKinley had brought Elaine Dowds from the subs bench ten minutes into the second half and the Dunloy player was starting to make an impact. Ten minute from the end she soloed in from the left wing and broke through the Tipperard defence to fire in her team’s second goal. That vital score gave the Ulster girls a four point cushion, and the went five clear three minutes later. Tipperary cut it back to four two minutes from the end again but by this stage it was a case of too little, too late as the title was already Antrim bound.
It turned out to be an historic day for Antrim midfielder Edel Mason who became the first player to win Intermediate medals with two different counties, having won with Down in 1998. Mason, who was now playing her club Camogie with Dunloy, also set some sort of record by being awarded the Player of the Match in both finals.
Antrim scorers – Elaine Dowds 1-1; Noele McCarry 1-0; Jane Adams 0-3; Graine Connolly 0-2; Edel Mason, Sinead Lagan and Carla Doherty 0-1 apiece.
Chrissie Doherty, Orla Donnelly, Mairead Graham, Maureen McAlister, Ciara McGinley, Siobhan McCluskey, Bernie McKinley, Jane Adams, Edel Mason, Noelle McCarry, Grainne Connolly, Anne McKee, Una Elliott, Sinead Lagan, Carla Doherty.
Subs – Elaine Dowds for Doherty (51 minutes) Fiona Hasson, Helena Connolly, Siobhán Doherty, Danielle Clarke, Ursula Hasson, Róisín Duffin, Cáit Doherty, Ciara McKinley, Brenda Clarke.
Referee – Una Kearney – Armagh