Creggan Kickhams lift Junior B title in thrilling local derby win over Tír na nOg

Antrim LGFA Junior B Final

Creggan Kickhams 3-11 Tir na nÓg 3-5

Report & Pics by Brian McKee

The Ladies Junior B Final had all the ingredients needed for a close encounter at Dunsilly. A local derby between Tír na nOg, a club only 4 years growing and entering their first final, and Creggan Kickhams, a team with a longer history but in the stages of redevelopment. Previous to this final encounter this season had already seen a win for each team in the league.

It was no surprise then to witness a large crowd gather for the showdown, and they were not to be disappointed.

The first half saw these close neighbours engage in end to end football. The opening goal of the contest came for Creggan, following a precision pass from Clodagh Maguire racing in from midfield to Ella McAteer in the full forward line who fired into the Tir na nOg net. As the first half unfolded the pattern of the game was being established as Creggan were exerting most of the pressure with Tir na nOg being most effective in the counter attack.

Ella McAteer was the main danger for the Creggan ladies and she finished the first half with two goals and two points against her name with Caoimhe Hempsey backing her up with a third goal.

Katy Bonnes and Níamh McKinley were the main threats for Randalstown and kept the Creggan ladies well in touch as the first half came to an end.

Half-Time: Creggan Kickhams 3-4 Tír na nOg Randalstown 1-4

The second half saw Tír na nOg first out of the blocks with a goal from Ellen Magee who followed through on a great save from McEldowney in the Creggan nets. Creggan though were determined to keep their grip on this game and responded immediately with a point from Córa Duffin.

Shannon McNeeley was in perpetual motion for the Randalstown ladies but they were unable to capitalise upon her runs and were finding it difficult to reel in the Creggan ladies who had their bit between their teeth in the second half. As the half progressed it was clear that Randalstown would have to find something very special to stop Creggan.

Although Creggan were pushing ahead on the scoreboard, Niamh McKinley stepped up to the plate and produced a wonderful point from distance to keep Randalstown in contention.

Caoimhe Dempsey though was now testing the Randalstown defence on an increasing basis with her incisive runs.

As the game moved into the final quarter it was clear that Creggan had one hand firmly on the cup. They kept their foot on the pedal until the end and it was this determination that saw the green and yellow faces and flags rush on the pitch at the end to celebrate a great victory for the Creggan ladies.

Despite the heartbreak at the end of this thrilling match, the ladies from Tir na nOg will take a lot of encouragement from this display and the fact that they matched the Creggan ladies in the second half augurs well for future encounters between these two close neighbours and rivals.  

Full-Time: Creggan 3-11 Tír na nOg Randalstown 3-5

Kickhams: Aoibh McEldowney, Cara Bradley, Hannah Gately, Bríd Magee, Cara McCann, Caoimhe Hempsey (1-2), Megan Darragh, Alannah Hempsey, Letitia Quinn, Cora Duffin (0-1), Clodagh Maguire (0-5), Tara Hamill, Trea Donnelly, Ella McAteer (2-3), Cerys O’Neill, Maria Gately, Aoibheann O’Connell, Aivenn Woulahan, Aishleigh Larkin, Caitlin Rose Hawthorne

Tír na nOg: Caitriona McCana, Mollie MacAdhaimh, Emma None, Ciara McParland, Aoife McCana, Shauna Robinson, Michaela Fagan, Jessica Simpson, Susan OSeanaín (0-1), Shannon Mac an Fhilidh, Cliodhan Maire McStravick, Ellen Magee (1-0), Katy Bonnes (1-1), Niamh McKinely (1-3), Niamh Burbridge, Ciara McCann, Aimee Gartside, Sorcha OMáirtín, Laura McKillen, Aoife McCloskey, Uisneach McCann.

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