All Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship – Group 2
Antrim 3-16 Kildare 1-7
Antrim, who were without injured stars Maeve Kelly and Amy Boyle, booked their place in the quarter final of the All Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship when they beat Kildare by fifteen points on Saturday at Portglenone, a result which moves them ahead of Cork in Group 2 on score difference.
Though it turned out to be a comfortable win in the end there were times in the first half when it looked anything but, and when Kildare lead by 1-2 to 0-4 at the first water break there were a few worried Saffron fans around the ground. However they slowly got into their stride and after leading by five at half time they really hit their stride in the second half, and two goals from Caitrin Dobbin helped them to a comfortable win.
Rain that fell just as the game got underway disrupted the flow of the play, and though they lead by 0-4 to 0-1 after six minutes they could get no real flow in their game. The opening point was hit by birthday girl Aine Magill, who is emerging into a great talent at county level, and after Leah Sutton equalised for Kildare Anna Connolly, Caitrin Dobbin and Roisin McCormick hit three in a row.
Kildare came back with another point from Sutton and when corner forward Dearbhla Byrne finished a very good Kildare move with a well taken goal the Saffrons looked to be in a spot of bother. Roisin McCormick settled things down with two well taken points from frees and when Katie McAleese finished to the net, after a McCormick shot had been saved things looked much better for the home team.
However the goal was ruled out for a ‘square’ infringement but two minutes later McAleese struck again when she doubled overhead on a high delivery from Caitrin Dobbin to send it flying the net and give her team a 1-7 to 1-2 lead at half time.
Antrim knew they needed a big second half if they were to improve their score difference enough to move ahead of Cork, and it started really well when second half substitute Christine Laverty hit a fine point with her first touch of the game. Roisin McCormick added another two minutes later, and though the excellent Leah Sutton pulled one back for Kildare, points from Aine Magill, Roisin McCormick and Nicole O’Neill were followed by a Caitrin Dobbin goal which pushed the lead out to ten.
Kildare’s Siobhan Harley and Antrim’s Anna Connolly exchanged points to keep the gap at ten but just before the second half water break Siobhan Stynes grabbed another point for the visitors to cut the gap back to nine. The Saffrons had set themselves a twelve point winning margin as a target before the game and with five minutes to go that was far from secure, but they finished the game strongly and when Dobbin grabbed her second goal on 55 minutes they were on their way.
Roisin McCormick capped a fine display with another point, substitute Roisin Kelly grabbed another and team captain Lucia McNaughton added a superb point to stretch the lead to 16. Siobhan Harley had the final say with a Kildare point, but the victory was already sealed and Antrim can look forward to a quarter final spot next weekend.
Catriona Graham, Chloe Drain, Niamh Donnelly, Maria Lynn, Coleen Patterson, Caoimhe Conlon, Maeve Conlon, Lucia McNaughton, Nicole O’Neill, Ciara Laverty, Anna Connolly, Aine Magill, Roisin McCormick, Katie Carey, Caitrin Dobbin.
Subs – Shauna Devlin, Roisin Kelly, Laoise McKenna, Christine Laverty, Ciara Dobbin.
Tanya Johnston, Cationa Temple, Kelly Perkins, Maria Doyle, Ellen Morgan, Nicole Malcolmson, Caoiffionn Hallisey, Naoimh Heggarty, Aoife Stynes, Emier Reilly, Siobhan Harley, Aoife Fitzgerald, Aine Conway, Leah Sutton, Dearbhla Byrne.