Antrim are in All Ireland semis, despite five point loss to Wicklow

TG4 All Ireland Ladies Junior Football Championship

Wicklow 1-17 Antrim 1-12

Despite losing by five points to Wicklow in Sunday’s Round 4 game at Mullahoran Co Cavan in the All Ireland Junior Championship, Antrim have secured a place in the semi-finals of the All Ireland championship. Last year’s beaten finalists Wicklow looked to be heading for a big win when they moved eight clear early in the second half, but Antrim battled back to cut the gap to just five at the final whistle. 1-17 to 1-12.

Aoife Taggart got Antrim off to a good start with the first point of the game on two minutes but Wicklow came back with points from Marie Keeley and Maebh Deeney to edge ahead by the fourth minute. Antrim were holding their own with last year’s finalists and they got a great boost on nine minutes when a brilliant move from midfield saw Aoife Taggart weave her way through the Wicklow defence and fire the ball to the net to give her team a two point lead.

However Wicklow took control of the game at this stage and during the next ten minutes added a series of excellent points, two from Sarah Delahunt, and one each from Maebh Deeney Catherine Dempsey and Laurie Ahern to move three clear by the 19th minute. Grainne McLaughlin and Caitlin Taggart kept Antrim well on track with two points in the 20th and 25th minutes but Wicklow finished the half strongly and points from Kealy, Dempsey and Ahern had them four ahead at half time. (0-11 to 1-4)

A goal just two minutes after the restart by Wicklow left half forward Clodagh Fox was to prove a bad body blow for the Saffrons, but the fought their way back into the game as Grainne McLaughlin hit two excellent points. Maebh Deeney grabbed two points for Wicklow in the 39th and 40th minutes and the gap was out to eight by the second half water break.

During the final quarter Antrim upped the pace, holding Wicklow to just two more points while up front the forwards set about reducing the gap. Grainne McLaughlin started the fightback with a point on 48 minutes, but it was a further nine minute before Cathy Carey got the next score on 57 minutes. She added another a minute later and when Michelle Magee and Grainne McLaughlin added two more in injury time, the gap was down to just five. However time had run out and Antrim’s brave bid had come up just short, but the management will be pleased with their overall performance

ANTRIM

Julie Curran, Duana Coleman, Orla Corr, Ashling McFadden, Maeve Blaney, Maria Hannah, Aine Tubidy, Emma Ferran, Ciara Brown, Niamh Enright, Cathy Carey, Grainne McLaughlin, Aoife Taggart, Theresa Mellon, Caitlin Taggart.

Subs – Ciara Austin for Orla Corr – 14 Mins

Michelle Magee for Theresa Mellon – Halftime

Niamh Webb for Áine Tubridy – 44 Mins;

Ellie Murphy for Aoife Taggart – 48 Mins;

Rebekah Hemsworth for Caitlin Taggart – 54 Mins

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