Ulster Under 16 Shield Camogie final
Antrim 4-8 Armagh 1-3
For the first 45 minutes of this Ulster under 16 Shield decider, there was little between the sides. But Antrim exploded over the last quarter to convincingly win the title.
The winners looked the better team during the first half, but couldn’t get enough scores on the board to confirm that observation.
Niamh McNeill and Siofra McCreesh swopped points over the first ten minutes and then it looked as if Antrim were getting on top when Caela Dobbin, Rhianna Black and McNeill pointed.
However all that pressure was cancelled out at the other end when Molly Fegan drove low from 30 metres and the sliotar was deflected past Aoife McCaughan in the Saffron nets.
McNeill however lifted Antrim heads again shortly before the break with her third point of the half.
There was stalemate for the first ten minutes of the second half until points from Caoimhe Hart and Molly Fegan edged Armagh ahead.
Those scores acted as a wake up call for Antrim as Eabha McAllister’s incisive running opened the door for a flurry of scores.
McAllister went on a solo run from midfield just after Fegan’s lead point for Armagh. Her shot was saved well by Molly Monaghan but it fell in the path of Niamh McNeill who slammed it to the net. The same player quickly added a point.
With ten minutes to go, Leona Gillan came off the bench and scored a point with her first possession. Eabha McAllister immediately added two identical goals, again bursting through the centre and firing to the net.
The Dunloy girl wasn’t finished. Another solo run and a point in the 58th minute was followed by her third goal at the start of the injury time.
In the end a convincing win for the under 15s with those final 15 minutes something to savour. Not surprisingly Eabha McAllister picked up the Player of the Match award while club-mate and team captain Sarah Louise Kearns got to lift the Shield on behalf of the team.
Antrim: A McCaughan, KR Drain, R Maybin, A Gillan, C Crawford, SL Kearns cpat, M Graham, E McAllister 3-1, C Dobbin 0-1, R Black 0-1, K McCloskey, O McNulty, M horan, N McNeill 1-4, N McAllister.
Subs: C O’Hagan, E Neeson, R Matthews, L Gillan 0-1, M Cunning, S Brennan, N Munce.
Armagh: M Monaghan, C Tohill capt., L Gallogly, M Cunningham, A Carson, A Murphy, O Hunter, C Hart 0-1 free, S Doherty, S McCreesh 0-1, M Fegan 1-1, L McConnell, J Traynor, E McGahan, E Chahill.
Subs: M Judge, AL Caraher, M Lavery, A O’Hara.Referee : M Quigg (Derry).