Antrim Camogie League Division 1
By Paul McLean
Dunloy maintained their unbeaten start to the league after a good away win to Ballycastle to leave them joint top with champions Loughgiel.
Both sides were missing their County players and a few others due to injuries but both sides served up a really good competitive game which saw players grab their chances to claim a starting shirt for each team.
A special mention to Mickey Quigg who stepped in to referee the game when there was none available for this one and he did a top job as per usual.
Ballycastle started much the better side with Aine Donnelly esp. coming to the fore firing over two good points for the home side. Dunloy on the other hand were struggling to get their scoring going and had five or so good chances to score but spurned them all.
It would take 5 minutes into the game before Cassie McArthur would get the visitors first score and it in turn opened the flood gates as Dunloy landed the next six in a row. Caoimhe Molloy split the posts not long after and more or less from the next puck out Dunloy had their first goal.
Caitlin Crawford broke the puck out to Aine Magill who out ran her marker to fire past Danielle McMichael in the nets. A brace of points each for Caoimhe Molloy and Cassie McArthur made it 0-02 to 1-06 and it was no more than the visitors deserved.
The hard working Aine Donnelly stopped the rot for the home side with yet another well struck point from distance but again the Dunloy girls stormed back with points from Michaela Elliott (2) and a Cassie McArthur free.
A Riana McBride point for the home side and one for Dunloy’s Erin Elliott finished the scoring in the first half leaving the home side trailing 0-05 to 1-09.
Like the first half it was Ballycastle’s number 11 Aine Donnelly who opened the scoring with another long range point which was matched by Aine Magill with two points in a row. If the home side were to stay in touch with Dunloy they needed a real jolt to get them going and they got it with a goal from Fionnuala Kelly and very quickly followed up by another score from the impressive Aine Donnelly. Game on.
Caoimhe Molloy split the posts with a 45’ but the home side had the bit between their teeth and rallied back with a point from Riana McBride and another goal to reduce the gap to one point. A shot from distance from Fionnuala Kelly dropped short into the box and managed to find its way into the net to bring the Ballycastle girls right back into the game.
Sadly for them it was the last score they would register as a resurgent Dunloy took the next three scores in a row to secure the points. Aine Magill took a nice long range score between a brace of scores for Michaela Elliott who broke clear of her marker to fire past Danielle at close range leaving her with no chance and the league points up the road for Dunloy.
A top game between the sides played in a good competitive spirit which will have given both camps with plenty of positives despite missing their main players.
Ballycastle defended well for the hour, despite the score line, with Orla Donnelly, Catherine McShane and Maria Donnelly having good games. Up front Aine Donnelly was the pick of the forwards with five points from play all at distance along with Fionnuala Kelly grabbing both the goals.
For Dunloy Aileen McManus had a fine game at centre half back along with Dearbhaill Elliott and Eilis Kearns. Up front Dunloy’s full forward line of Aine Magill, Cassie McArthur and Michaela Elliott did all the scoring damage which made the difference.
D McMichael, N A Donnelly, O Donnelly, E McShane, M Donnelly, C McShane, E Laverty, M O’Neill, B McCaughan, A Toner, A Donnelly (0-05), T O’Neill, R McBride (0-03), F Kelly (2-00), N O’Neill
M Martin, D Magill, E Kearns, B Magill, E McMullan, A McManus, D Elliott, E Johnston, E Elliott, C Crawford (0-01), C Molloy (0-02), B Magill, M Elliott (1-02), C McArthur (0-05 3f), A Magill (1-04)