Injury time salvo sees Rasharkin into the final four

Antrim JCC quarter final

Rasharkin 1-9

Gort na Móna 2-2

Rasharkin left it late to seal the deal, but a 1-1 rally in injury time saw them see off a stubborn Gort na Móna challenge to reach the semi-final of the Antrim junior camogie championship.

In warm conditions at Dreen, there was a ripple of relief when substitute Ciara O’Boyle split the posts in the 61st minute to nudge the hosts back into the lead.

Jade Henry added a goal on 64 minutes to polish the final score and see the home side reach the final four against a 14-player Gort na Móna side.

Aisling McCaffrey had 0-2 to her name when she was dismissed on 29 minutes after an off-the-ball incident with Rasharkin’s Sharrifa O’Kane.

O’Kane and sister Noeleen both saw yellow in the aftermath of the incident, much to the ire of the Gort na Móna line who were vocal in their disagreement.

St Mary’s pulled ahead after the flashpoint to lead by 0-6 to 1-2 at the break, and after stretching the lead to three midway through the second half, they were rocked by a levelling Sara Kennedy goal.

O’Boyle and Henry’s late intervention though ensured the hosts’ successful qualification for the championship semi-final.

Aisling McCaffrey had shot Gort na Móna into the lead after just two minutes from a free, only for Cora Henderson to race through the middle and slot a score to level matters on 3 minutes.

McCaffrey then swapped points with Jade Henry to leave the scores level at 0-2 apiece on 11 minutes, before Henderson tidied up a scramble to shoot Rasharkin ahead in the 17th minute.

The hosts went close to finding the net on 20 minutes, Gort goalkeeper Colleen McAvoy recovering to clear after fumbling the first attempt.

Cádhla McLernon doubled the home lead in the 22nd minute, before Henry opened up a 0-5 to 0-2 gap with a free wide on the right hand side two minutes later.

Gort na Móna countered though, and McCaffrey’s neat hand pass sent Danielle Hughes cantering into space. The half forward made no mistake and rattled the top corner from the edge of the box.

Then came the flashpoint, with Sharrifa O’Kane tangling with McCaffrey after the Rasharkin full back had cleared the ball.

After a lengthy delay, referee Shane O’Donnell showed a red card to the Gort na Móna corner forward, before flashing yellow at Sharrifa and Noeleen O’Kane on 29 minutes.

Cora Henderson then fired the hosts into a 0-6 to 1-2 half time lead as the game entered first half injury time, and Rasharkin opened the second half in determined mood.

Jade Henry drew first blood, rounding her marker to shoot low over the bar in the 34th minute, before Danielle Hughes again came close for Gort, flashing a low shot past McMullan’s right hand post.

Kerrie Darragh collected a neat ball from Henry and thought she had found the net, only for the umpire and referee to rule the ball had entered the net through the side netting.

Henry then won a foot race with the Gort na Móna keeper, keeping her composure to split the posts as the defensive cover arrived and open a 0-8 to 1-2 lead.

The home side were rattled though on 53 minutes, as Sara Kennedy took control of a breaking ball and batted the ball into the bottom corner of the net to level matters and spark some panic.

Rasharkin hit a number of rushed wides in the following minutes as they chased the lead, but substitute Ciara O’Boyle ended the waste on 61 minutes.

The forward shrugged off her marker and fired between the posts to the relief of all around her, and when Jade Henry found the net from a 64th minute free, the victory was sealed.

Rasharkin: Saoirse McMullan, Bronagh McFerran, Sharrifa O’Kane, Noeleen O’Kane, Niamh Mooney, Kate McFerran, Ciara O’Neill, Aoife McFerran, Eimhéar Hardy, Cora Henderson (0-3, 0-1f), Eimear O’Neill, Jade Henry (1-4, 0-2f), Cádhla McLernon (0-1), Kerrie Darragh, Roisín Hardy

Subs: Ciara O’Boyle (0-1) for Roisín Hardy (37), Christina Smith for Kate McFerran (40), Danielle McAllister for Cora Henderson (61)

Yellow: S O’Kane (29), N O’Kane (29)

Gort na Móna: Colleen McAvoy, Grainne Hughes, Fiona McCotter, Rose Maguire, Casey Meighan, Kathleen Cornane, Ennae O’Neill, Sara Kennedy (1-0), Carla Scannell, Grainne O’Hare, Anna McCann, Danielle Hughes (1-0), Aisling McCaffrey (0-2f), Ursula McCotter, Méabh Mulholland

Yellow: A McCann (42)

Red: A McCaffrey (29)

Ref: Shane O’Donnell (Glenariffe)

Player of the Match – Jade Henry

Jade Henry finished the match with 1-4, 1-2 coming from play as she provided an outlet for the home side on numerous occasions. The half forward contributed to a solid defensive effort too, back helping out with a vital block on 48 minutes.

Turning Point – O’Boyle point

Rocked by a Sara Kennedy goal seven minutes from time, Rasharkin looked unsettled and in their panic to re-assert their authority fired over three successive wides before O’Boyle collected the ball in injury time, shrugged off her marker and split the posts to nudge St Mary’s back in front.

Score of the match – Hughes goal

Cora Henderson’s opening score was a contender, but the opening Gort na Móna goal was well-worked, Aisling McCaffrey’s neat hand pass finding a marauding Danielle Hughes. The half forward cantered into the space and picked her spot in the top left hand corner of Saoirse McMullan’s goal.

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