Strong second half sees the Saffrons save a point

Very National Camogie League Division 1B

Offaly 2-8 Antrim 2-8

Antrim Senior Camogs staged a great second half comeback to earn themselves a share of the spoils against Offaly in Saturday’s Very National Camogie League Division 1B game in Bannagher Co Offaly. Trailing by eight points at half time (2-7 to 1-2) it looked like the Saffron’s unbeaten run was coming to an end, but they showed great fighting quality in the second half to claw their way back. It appeared it might all have come to nothing as Offaly held on until the final minute but Niamh Cosgrove came to her team’s rescue when she landed a long range point in the final seconds to gain her team a point.

The opening half was all Offaly as Antrim’s long journey south was clearly taking its toll. Corner forward Siobhan Flannery got their opening point inside a minute but Caitrin Dobbin brought Antrim level on five when she sent over a free.

Caitrin Dobbin who scored six points in Antrim’s draw with Offaly in Banagher.

Points from Flannery and left half forward Lisa Gorman put the home team o-3 to 0-1 ahead, but when Aine Magill got through for a goal on 10 minutes to go one clear it appeared that Antrim had weathered the early storm. However it was Offaly who took control and during the next ten minutes they ran riot, scoring two goals and three points without reply, the goals coming from Sarah Harding and Mairead Teenan.

Caitrin Dobbin stopped the rot for Antrim with a pointed free, but the home team finished the half strongly with a point from centre forward Rachel Brennan to go in at the break with an eight point cushion.

A strong start to the second half which brought three pointed frees from Caitrin Dobbin and one from play by Aine Magill cut the deficit in half by the ninth minute and things looked a lot more positive at this stage. Offaly came back with a point from full forward Sarah Harding, but it was to be their only score of the second half. The five point cushion the home side enjoyed was still intact as the game entered the last ten minutes, and the Saffron’s chance appeared be fading, but a goal from midfielder Siobhan McKillop breathed new life into the challenge.

Antrim’s Shannon Graham in action during the Saffron’s draw with Offaly in Banagher.

Caitrin Dobbin cut the gap back to a point with five minutes still to play, before McKillop was hauled down as she headed toward goal and Niamh Cosgrove landed a pressure free from long range to secure the draw.

Antrim : Á Magill (1-1), S McKillop (1-0), C Dobbin (0-6 frees), N Cosgrove (0-1 free)

Offaly: S Harding (1-2), M Teehan (1-0), S Flannery (0-4, 3 frees), l Gorman (0-1), R Brennan (0-1)

Antrim: C Graham; C Patterson, C Conlon, M Lynn; A Boyle, L McNaughton, N Cosgrove; S Graham, S McKillop; K McKillop, M McKillen, Á Magill; F Kelly, C McArthur, C Dobbin.
Subs: NA Donnelly for F Kelly (50), N Devlin for C McArthur (59)

Offaly: E Gilligan, S Moore, A Roddy, A Feeney, S Walsh, O Phelan, O Gorman, G Dolan capt, L Mannion, A McLoughlin, R Brennan, L Gorman, M Teehan, S Harding, S Flannery

Subs:  B Bryant for A McLoughlin (51)

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