Drumsurn overcome the Rasharkin hurdle

AIB Ulster Bridie McMenamin Shield final

Drumsurn (Derry) 5-10 Rasharkin (Antrim) 2-3

THE dominance of Antrim clubs in the AIB Ulster Bridie McMenamin Shield has come to an end.

Drumsurn recovered from a poor start in Saturday’s final in Portglenone to dominate the game and bring the Shield to Derry for the first time since Slaughtneil won back to back titles in 2007-08.

Rasharkin can have no real complaints about the result. Their team had done extremely well to reach the decider but they were up against it from the start. The red card for Jade Henry after 26 minutes made life very difficult for them. They were already 2-6 to 2-1 down and struggling to put any attacks together.

Yet it all seemed to start very promising for the Dreen women with two frees going straight to their opponents’ net in the 7th and 8th minutes.

Emer McAteer had given Drumsurn a good start with a point after three minutes. In Rasharkin’s first attack, Cathleen Mooney was fouled and Jade Henry caught everyone by surprise by going low and finding the corner of the net. A minute later Niamh Mooney sent a long free into the Drumsurn goal area and it also went all the way to the net.

However they didn’t get time to settle on that lead as Drumsurn were quickly back in the game when Ceallach buried a goal less than 40 seconds after Mooney’s strike.

By the end of the first quarter Player of the Match Catherine McCloskey had the north Derry club 1-4 to 2-0 ahead. McCloskey brought her personal total for the half to 1-3 in the 26th minute when she finished a move down the left wing with a confident strike to the net. She was also the recipient of an off-the-ball strike that earned Henry a red card while she also picked up a yellow.

At the start of the second half Saoirse McMullan brought off two point blank saves in quick succession and Ciara O’Boyle pointed a free at the end to keep Rasharkin’s fading hopes alive.

However McCloskey ended whatever hope they had with her second goal after a quite brilliant solo run from midfield in the 38th minute.

Ceallach Mooney then completed her hat-trick with goals in the 42nd and 45th minutes as Drumsurn won the McMenamin Shield for their county, after four successive victories for Antrim sides over their Derry opponents.

Drumsurn: MR McLaughlin, S Duffy, E Kealey, Ciara McCloskey, H McCloskey, H Caldwell, C Ferris, Catherine McCloskey 2-4, 0-1 free, Ú Rafferty, B McCloskey, C Cassidy 0-3 frees, S McGonigle 0-1, E McAteer 0-2, C Mailey 3-0, S Mullan.

Subs: M McAteer for S Duffy (42), C Doran for Ciara McCloskey (57), J Murphy for H McCloskey (57), L Gilloway for B McCloskey (57), C Hilman for C Ferris (57)

Rasharkin: S McMullan, N McFerran, N O’Kane, E Hardy, B McFerran, S McFerran, C McLernon, K Darragh, N Mooney 1-0 free, C O’Boyle 0-1 free, E Quigg 0-2, 1 free, J Henry 1-0 free, Cathleen Mooney, C Henderson, E O’Neill.

Subs:Cara Mooney for B McFerran (33), S Hasson for Cathleen Mooney (40), C O’Neill for C O’Boyle (42), C Smith for E O’Neill (55), R Hardy for N McFerran (55).

Referee: L Bannon (Cavan)

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