Reds back on top as they win first Ulster title since 2015

AIB Ulster Senior Club Camogie Final

Loughgiel (Antrim) 2-13 Slaughtneil (Derry) 1-11

A player of the match performance by Roisin McCormick helped steer Loughgiel back to the summit of Ulster Camogie as the Shamrocks beat six in a row champions Slaughtneil on Saturday at Pairc Esler, Newry. McCormick who has been plagued by injury this season, and hasn’t started any of her team’s four championship games in Ulster, was back to her best as topped the scoring charts with a goal and six points, 1-5 of it from play.

Player of the match Roisin McCormick was back to her best on Saturday after an injury disrupted season

However this was far from a one woman show, for there were a few others who could easily have picked up the award, like Caitrin Dobbin, who scored 1-1, and set up McCormick for her goal, plus Amy Boyle who battled for every ball, as well as scoring two points.

After losing the last six finals to the Derry champions a good start was important for Loughgiel, and they got their noses in front when Dobbin got the first score of the game. The next period was fairly evenly contested and the reigning champions were back on terms at 0-3 apiece when great work by Dobbin set McKillop up for the opening goal of the game in the 14th minute. Three minutes later Caitrin Dobbin struck a telling blow when she grabbed her team’s second goal with a neat finish and the Shamrocks were flying, but great champions like Slaughtneil showed their pedigree and boosted by a great solo goal from Tina Bradley the Derry champions battled back to trail by just a sing point at half time.

Caitrin Dobbin is challenged by Slaughtneil’s Céat McEldowney

The pressure was now on and it showed as both teams missed frees early in the second half. Slaughtneill drew level with a point from Cliona Mulholland in the 36th minute but Loughgiel edged ahead again with a point from Roisin McCormick and when further points followed from Annie Lynn and Anna Connolly the Shamrocks were back in control. McCormick was really on song now and she added three great points in reply to one from Slaughtneil to stretch the gap to five. It was a lead they were to hold right to the end as girls in red collected their first Ulster title since beating the same opponents in the 2015 final at Armagh Athletic Grounds.

A fantastic win for the Loughgiel girls, who have been on the wrong end of things all too often to this great Slaughtneil team. Such a win must be a great confidence boost for the Antrim champions as they look forward to an All Ireland semi-final in three weeks’ time against Tipperary and Munster champions Drum and Inch.

Joint captains Amy Boyle and Lucia McNaughton lift the trophy

Loughgiel: E Boyle; C Campbell, K Lynn, C McKillop; M Lynn, Ú McNaughton, S Doran; A Boyle, L McNaughton, C Laverty, M McKillen , A Connolly; C Dobbin , R McCormick, A Lynn.

Subs: K McKillop for A Lynn (47), C Boyle for C Campbell (60 + 2) 

Loughgiel scorers – R McCormick 1-6 (0-1 f), C Dobbin 1-1, A Boyle 0-2, Ú McNaughton 0-1, A Lynn 0-1, A Connolly 0-1, C Laverty 0-1.

Slaughtneil: J McMullan; O McNeill, A Ní Chaiside, N McCullagh; L Dougan capt], B McAllister, C McGrath; Céat McEldowney, C Mulholland; C Ní Mhianáin, T Bradley, G Ní Chatháin; O Rafferty, E McGuigan, S Mellon.

Subs: Chantelle McEldowney for E McGuigan (44)

Slaughtneil scorers T Bradley 1-6 (0-6 fs), S Mellon 0-1, L Dougan 0-2 (fs), C Mulholland 0-1, C Ní Mhianáin 0-1

Referee: Gavin Donegal (Dublin)

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