Bridíní Óga edge out Creggan in Minor B final

Minor B Camogie Championship final:

Bridíní Óga 4-7 Creggan 4-5

THERE has been little between Creggan and Brídíní Óga through this age group, from the southwest side winning the under 14 championship after a replayed final through last year’s under 16 battles with Creggan again winning the championship but the Glenravel girls battling back to take the league final.

And so it was another tight game in Portglenone on Monday evening with first one team and then the other taking the lead before Brídíní Óga put on the press in the final quarter to snatch a narrow victory.

The teams swopped early points before Clodagh McPeake got inside the Creggan cover and forced the sliotar over the goal-line.

However Creggan responded with two points from Evanne Martin and one from Cara McNicholl before Aimee McIlhatton fired in Brídíní Óga’s second goal. Creggan’s response was immediate however with Cara McNicholl pouncing on a half-clearance to find the net.

McIlhatton found the net once again just before the break to put Glenravel 3-4 to 1-4 ahead only for Evanne Martin’s long range free to hit their net right on the half-time whistle.

The game then got really interesting when Cara McNicholl raced through for an excellent solo goal on the re-start and it was all square at 3-4 each.

Emily Sharpe responded with a point for the Glenravel girls from a free, but despite a brilliant save from Caitlin McKeown at the first attempt, Cara McNicholl completed her hat-trick by following in and pulling first time to the roof of the net.

She added a point soon after and it looked as if Creggan could push for home with Maria Gately a commanding presence at full-back, Tara Hamill and Evanne Martin, now in midfield, hoovering up a lot of possession and McNicholl causing problems every time she was fed ball.

However the second water-break disrupted that momentum and Brídíní Óga stepped up a gear. There was constant pressure on the Creggan defence and eventually Aimee McIlhatton picked up possession close to goal and fired in an equalising goal that also completed her hat-trick.

Imelda McLeod, Antrim vice Chairperson, hands the Minor B Shield to Brídíní Óga captain Aisling Donnelly

Glenravel kept pressing but hit a series of wides while Maria Gately thwarted several goal bound efforts. Clodagh McPeake also drove a penalty wide off the outside of the post. Then eventually Emily Sharpe’s free dropped short but wasn’t cleared and Sharpe nipped in to point and put her side ahead. Sarah Fyfe added another point from a good team move and the Glenravel girls ran down the clock in their opponents’ side of the pitch.

The winners probably deserved victory in that as a team they raised their game in the final quarter with sheer determination, winning a lot of dirty ball and keeping Creggan under pressure. The Law twins, Aisling Mulholland, Erin Coulter, Eimear Butler, Clodagh McPeake and Emily Sharpe eventually forced home the match-winning scores for Glenravel to collect their first title in six years.

Brídíní Óga: Caitlin McKeown, Jessica McIlhatton, Orla Donnelly, Annie Higgins, Caitlin Law, Aisling Donnelly capt., Aisling Mulholland, Erin Coulter 0-2, 1 free, Megan Law, Eimear Butler, Emily Sharpe 0-2, 1 free, Sara Fyfe 0-2, Eibhlin Gould, Clodagh McPeake 1-1, Aimee McIlhatton 3-0.

Creggan: Trea Donnelly, Hannah Gately, Maria Gately, Rose carey-Small, Cora Duffin, Tara Hamill, Áine Colgan, Ella McAteer, Mary Murray, Caoimhe Hampsey, Cerys O’Neill, Roseanne Mulholland 0-1, Cara McNicholl 3-2, Eavanne Martin 1-2, 1-1 frees, Aoife McCloy.

Subs : Emma Bateson, Ashleigh Larkin, Helen McIlwee, Kaitlyn McNally, Neva Chauhan

Referee : Tony Breen

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