Antrim beat Limerick to clinch the Minor A Camogie Shield title

Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor A Shield Camogie Championship Final

Antrim 2-15 Limerick 1-13

By Daragh Ó Conchúir  

A 50th minute goal by player of the match Orlaith McAlister and some outstanding saves by sterling goalkeeper Eimear McGivern were among the key factors as Antrim edged Limerick by 2-15 to 1-13 in a thrilling Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor A Shield final at UPMC Nowlan Park. 

Antrim appeared to be cruising when they led by 1-09 to 0-6 in the lead up to half time but Limerick hit back with a goal and a point just before half time to trail by just two at the interval. The Treaty girls pushed on after the break and four points in succession had them two clear, Brennan (three) and Róisín O’Brien (45) hitting the target to turn the game on its head. 

Antrim’s Orlaith McAllister with Lucy O’Brien of Limerick – Pic by ©INPHO/Evan Treacy

However a superb point from Cushendall’s Orlaith McAlister, was followed by a goal from the same player as John McArthur’s charges wrestled back control.

Mary McArthur got the scoring under way for Antrim and Poppy Giltenane levelled but Kadi McNeill hit a purple patch with three points and then McArthur goaled in the 22nd minute, pouncing on some indecision with a clever finish off the ground. 

They were sitting pretty at that juncture, particularly having played into the wind but in the 32nd minute, Laura Southern capitalised on the Antrim defenders not reacting when McGivern saved Giltenane’s penalty. The Monaleen markswoman had time to lift and strike before drilling to the net. Niamh Brennan converted a 45 and the game was really on. 

It was more of the same in terms of attacking intent after the restart and Leah Quinlan and McGivern were forced into saves at either end of the pitch early on. But Limerick were clearly buoyed by events just before the change of ends and four points in succession had them two clear.

Antrim’s Eobha McAllister with Ciara Buckley of Limerick-Pic by ©INPHO/Evan Treacy

The Antrim response was telling though as they scored a goal and four without reply. Anna McKillop’s point moved the Saffrons ahead at the beginning of the final quarter and within seconds of doubling the advantage with a superb solo score, McAllister drilled a low shot to the corner of Limerick net to put daylight between the sides

Limerick battled to the last and had the gap down to just three points, but Antrim held on and finished with a flurry with points from McKillop and O’Boyle and the final whistle heralded scenes of great celebration.

Antrim : O McAlister (1-3), M McArthur (1-1), K McNeill (0-3), A McKillop (0-6, 4 frees), E McAllister (0-1), C O’Boyle (0-1)

Limerick: L Southern (1-1), N Brennan (0-7, 6 frees), P Giltenane (0-2), R O’Brien (0-2, 1 free), C Dunne (0-1)

Antrim: E McGivern, A Donnelly capt., A McNeill, C Crawford, S Heggarty, D Dobbin, E Coulter, J McIntosh, C O’Boyle, E McAllister, O McAlister, C Connolly, A McKillop, M McArthur, K McNeill.

Subs: A Ferris for C Connolly (42), S Deery for A McKillop (59)

Limerick: L Quinlan, A Mullins, O Ryan, C Buckley, A Russell, L O’Brien, E Meehan, K Foley, C Dunne, P Giltenane, R O’Brien, N Brennan, D Kenny, C Power, L Southern.

Subs: Kate Feasy for R O’Brien (50), C Meenan for P Giltenane (52), A O’Halloran for D Kenny (52)

Referee: G Donegan (Dublin)

Antrim vs Limerick Antrim’s Abi McNeill and Kady McNeill celebrate at the final whistle Pic by Evan Tracey INPHO

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