Magill stars again as minors also secure final spot

Minor B Championship semi-finals

Antrim 3-19 Laois 2-12

ÁINE Magill put in a stellar performance for Antrim on Saturday in their All-Ireland Intermediate semi-final win over Galway at Clones.

The Dunloy forward racked up 1-4 in that game and she finished off a special weekend for herself and her county by scoring 1-3 as the Saffron minors beat Laois on Sunday to set up an All-Ireland final with Offaly this coming weekend.

Magill was joined on the minor team by her sisters, Bríd and Brónach, and all three turned in top performances as Antrim overcame a hesitant start to pull away in the third quarter. And it was the older Magill who got the show on the way with a 34th minute goal after switching from midfield to corner-forward with a roving commission.

But there were other stars in this performances, the Magills’ cousin Cassie McArthur hit 2-7 from play – indeed all but a single point of Antrim’s 3-19 total came from open play. Evanne Martin pointed twice in each half. Bríd Magill was well-supported in defence by Orla McIlroy and the McIntosh twins while Orlagh Laverty and Fionnuala Kelly also got through a mountain of work.

Aine Magill who starred for Antrim seniors on Saturday and the minors on Sunday Pic by Paddy Donnelly

Yet Antrim found themselves 2-5 to 0-10 down at the interval despite looking a much better team than Laois over the half-hour.

Laois free-taker Grainne Delaney scored both goals from long-range efforts in the opening half and a little doubt seemed to creep into the Antrim play, something that wasn’t evident as they opened up a 0-5 to 0-2 lead after eight minutes with points from the Magill sisters, Fionnuala Kelly and two from Evanne Martin.

It was all square at 0-5 to 1-2 at the first water-break and Antrim took off again with a point from Áine Magill and two from Cassie McArthur before being rocked by that second Laois goal.

The score-board was sorted during the third quarter however and it was Áine Magill, switched from midfield to corner-forward, who turned the screw with a 34th minute goal. Fionnuala Kelly moved to midfield and Nuala Devlin to half forward and all three players involved in the positional changes benefitted.

Dunloy’s Cassie McArthur quickly added two more goals and the Saffrons led by 3-15 to 2-10 at the second water-break.

During the last quarter Susie Delaney goaled for Laois, but Antrim were in control and already looking ahead to this weekend’s final against Offaly.

Antrim : O Donnelly, L Haughey, Bríd Magill, O McIlroy, A Kane, F McIntosh, E McIntosh, O Laverty 0-1, Á Magill 1-3, 0-1 free, Brónach Magill 0-1, E Martin 0-4, F Kelly 0-1, S Woodhouse 0-1, C McArthur 2-7, N Devlin 0-1.

Subs : E Graham for L Haughey, M O’Boyle for S Woodhouse, N Neeson for A Kane.

Laois: C Phelan, K Dunican, L Delaney, L Phelan, E Meagher, K Whelan, A O’Neill, G Delaney 2-1, 1-0 free, L Dowling, J Gaughan, Á Coss 0-2, G O’Reilly, E Cole, A Flanagan, S Delaney 1-8, 0-6 frees

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