McAllister goal sends Antrim on their way at Hightown

LGFA U16 Football

Antrim 4-5 Derry 1-3

Antrim U16s brushed Derry aside at Gerry Devlin Park at Naomh Éanna on Saturday afternoon with superb performances in difficult conditions. 

The teams traded territory rather than scores in the opening minutes of the game until Antrim’s Keela McAllister opened the scoring by raising the green flag with seven minutes on the clock. Her opposite number on the Derry team, Megan Brown, responded with a well worked point from play but the Oak Leafers found it difficult to break through the Saffron defence as captain Nicole Munce swept up everything at the back. 

Two almost identical points from frees from Erin Stewart stretched the Antrim lead and when Leah Stewart got on the end of Amelie Annett’s cross to palm the ball into Catlin McCafferty’s net, the Saffron girls were out of sight. 

Cora Bellew played a quick one-two with Erin Stewart to further extend the margin for Martin Sherlock’s charges with a well worked goal. Megan Brown and Aoife Doherty would add a goal and point respectively for Derry before Brown was brought down and awarded a penalty by Eddie Cuthbert. 

Antrim ‘keeper Holly McGahey guessed right and stopped any chance of a Derry comeback by quickly clearing her lines. 

HALF TIME SCORE Antrim 3-2 Derry 1-2 

Derry were quick out of the blocks from the throw in with Brannagh Brolly charging through the Saffron defence to register what would prove to be the Oak Leafers last score of the game. It was quickly cancelled out by Anna Rice’s point from play with another quickly added by Leah Stewart. 

Although the rain had cleared, the weather in Hightown is temperamental at the best of times, and it could hardly be said that either team was playing with the wind in either half. The second period was a much scrappier affair than the first with Derry putting in a number of questionable tackles, one of which resulted in Anna Henry seeing yellow for bringing down Erin Stewart. 

Leah Cassidy put in a fine block halt any further Derry progress and Anna McGarry put the game to bed with Antrim’s fourth goal on 50 minutes. Erin Stewart rounded off a fantastic performance with another point from a free to see the Antrim girls seal an opening day win of 4-5 to 1-3. 

Antrim Scorers: K McAllister 1-0, E Stewart 0-3, C Bellew 1-0, A Rice 0-1, L Stewart 1-1, A McGarry 1-0 

Derry Scorers: M Brown 1-1, A Doherty 0-1, B Brolly 0-1. 

Referee: E Cuthbert (An Dún)

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