Feis Cup Senior Camogie final replay @ Armoy
Loughgiel 4-08 Ballycastle 0-12
The old adage that ‘goals win games’ was never truer that in Tuesday evening’s Senior Feis Cup final replay in Armoy as Loughgiel hit four in all to retain the trophy. The teams (who both fielded without their county players ahead of Sunday’s All Ireland final) ended level last week at the same venue, but this time around the Shamrocks’ ability to find the net gave them the edge in another exciting and highly competitive game. Ballycastle had plenty of chances also but a mixture of poor finishing and some great last-gasp defending by the Loughgiel rear-guard kept them at bay.
The first quarter was all one way traffic as Emma McMullan hit three and Annie Lynn one to give their team a 0-4 to 0-0 lead at the first water break’ Ballycastle finally shook off the nerves when they got their first point of the game on twenty minutes through Caoimhe Wright and a minute later they appeared to be right back in the game when Fionnuala Kelly rounded the Loughgiel full back and kicked the ball to the net. The Ballycastle cheers were short lived however as match referee Vincent Boyle called the play back and gave them a penalty, which Caoimhe Wright sent over the bar. To make matters worse when the ball was pucked out Loughgiel’s Megan McGarry sent in a high ball to the Ballycastle square that deceived the goalkeeper and ended in the back of the net. 1-4 to 0-2 behind Ballycastle were in trouble, but they fought their way back into contention with two points apiece from Caoimhe Wright and Niamh O’Neill, in reply to one from Loughgiel’s Emma McMullan, to trail by just two at the interval.
The first ten minutes of the second half saw Ballycastle fight back to level the game with two more points from Wright and O’Neill and when Rianna McBride cut through on goal it seemed she must hit the net, but great defencive work by Loughgiel full back Katie Lynn saw her get a hook in to send McBride’s shot wide.
Two minutes later the pendulum swung firmly back in the Shamrocks favour as corner forward Annie Lynn, who was brilliant over the two games, got in behind the Ballycastle defence twice inside a minute to finish with aplomb, once with a right sided strike at the near post and the second time with a left sided shot across the goalkeeper.
The gap was now out to six and though Ballycastle never gave up the fight and on the three occasions that they closed the gap, Emma McMullan found a reply, and when corner forward Orlagh Laverty showed great composure to fire in Loughgiel’s fourth goal it was all over, bar the shouting.
LOUGHGIEL – Megan Coyle, Charlene Campbell, Katie Lynn, Katie McKillop, Emma McFadden, Ciara Laverty, Shauna Devlin, Ciara Boyle, Una McNaughton, Emma McMullan, Claire McKillop, megan McGarry, Annie Lynn, Racquel Murphy, Orla Laverty
Subs – Finvola McIntyre for Una McNauhton (inj)
BALLYCASTLE – Danielle McMichael, Niamh Ann Donnelly, Orla Donnelly, Emma Laverty, Catherine McShane, Kathryn Donnelly, Maria Donnelly, Brona McCaughan, Maebh O’Neill, Fionuala Kelly Aine Donnelly, Aoife Toner, Caoimhe Wright, Niamh O’Neill, Riana McBride
Referee – Vincent Boyle.