Lidl Division Four Ladies National Football League
Derry 0-11-2-05 Antrim
By Kevin Herron from Ballinascreen
Antrim were forced to dig deep as they extended their unbeaten
run in the league to four games thanks to a late equaliser in a 0-11-2-05 draw
with Derry at Ballinascreen this afternoon.
Two goals in the space of sixty first-half seconds from Orla
Corr and Maeve McCurdy had the visitors in control – thought Emma Doherty
helped the scoreboard tick over as Derry trailed by the bare minimum at the
Despite playing against a strong second-half breeze Derry
edged ahead four times in the final quarter and appeared on course for a third
successive victory over Antrim, that was until Cathy Carey tied the game deep
into injury-time to secure a point from a hard afternoons graft.
Antrim were without the services of Taggart sisters Aoife
and Caitlin as well as Mairead Cooper for this St Patrick’s Day Derby.
Facing a gale force breeze they struggled early on and it
was Derry who made the early runnings – though they failed to make the most of
their early dominance with three wides before the opening score arrived through
an Emma Doherty free.
Antrim responded on seven minutes and hit the front with a
well worked move that was finished to the net past Cheree Mackey by Orla Corr –
the St Johns native picked her spot in the roof of the net to give her side a
Things got even better within sixty seconds, another
sweeping attack caught the Derry defence napping and Maeve McCurdy’s shot
crashed off the underside of the crossbar and past Mackey to make it 2-00-0-01.
Derry responded with their opening score from play on the 11th
minute – a fine curling effort from Ciara Moore and halved the deficit on the
midway point of the half thanks to Emma Doherty’s second coverted free, which
made it 2-00-0-03.
Steelstown’s wing-half forward Doherty was deadly from the
placed ball – before the half was out she would bring her personal tally to
0-04 with two further converted frees as Antrim held a slender 2-00-0-05 lead
at the interval.
A fifth Doherty point drew the sides level within two minutes of the restart – though Cathy Carey registered Antrim’s first point of the day to restore her sides lead.
It was one they would relinquish however- deadly Doherty levelled for a second time
from a free and midway through the second-half Annie Crozier edged Derry ahead
for just the second time in the game.
Antrim didn’t panic and responded instantly through Cathy
Carey, but the pendulum swung back into the hosts favour thanks to Emma
Doherty’s first point from play.
With ten minutes remaining the sides were level for the
fourth time in the half as Saffrons skipper Saoirse Tennyson kept cool under
pressure and split the posts to make it 0-09-2-03.
The sides remained deadlocked approaching the final five
minutes but Derry were dealt a blow when referee Siobhan Coyle sin-binned half
back Katy Holly and the hosts were forced to see time out with a numerical
It wouldn’t stop an attack minded Derry side who regained
the lead through Emma Doherty’s seventh free of the contest – the lead was cancelled
out for a fourth time though as Maeve McCurdy landed a magnificent pressure
The drama wasn’t quite over though as Derry thought they had
finally clinched victory thanks to midfielder
Aoife Laverty’s point three minutes into added time.
The resilient Saffrons had other ideas and determined not to
have a disappointing St Patrick’s Day salvaged a point at least – thanks to
Cathy Carey’s equalising point from the placed ball.
The player count was evened up in the aftermath as Saoirse
Tennyson was sin-binned for some game management that paid off in the end as
the spoils were shared at the conclusion of a pulsating contest at
The point moves Antrim closer to their target of a league
semi-final and they will be hoping that a victory against Louth or Carlow in
the final two games will see them into the last four.
Derry: C Mackey, C Glass, O McEvoy, D Donnelly, A Frizelle,
K Holly, D Kivlehan, A Laverty (0-01), C Lynn, E Doherty (0-08, 0-07f), C Moore
(0-01), A Crozier (0-01), C Laverty, C McGurk, A McGough. Subs: : D McNicholl
for C Laverty (54 mins), N Hannon for A Crozier (54 mins).
Antrim: A McCann, O Corr (1-00), C Stewart, N Killen, K
Farren, C Brown, S Tennyson (0-01), A Tubridy, C Carey (0-03, 0-01f), J
McCavana, Sarah-Louise McLaughlin, N Enright, L Wallace, M McCurdy (1-01), A
Carleton. Subs: S Coleman for K Farren (23 mins), A Enright for A Carleton (55
Bunscoil Breann Mhadagain and St. Clare’s were the schools in action during half time of the Antrim v Wicklow Allianz NFL Division 4 game at Corrigan Park yesterday. The few hardy souls who braved the bitter wind were entertained to a fine exhibition of football from both sides with those on view showing plenty of endeavour and skill
All-Ireland Minor A championship
Antrim 1-11 Kilkenny 2-9
IT shows how far Antrim underage camogie has come when the management and team trooped off the St Bridget’s pitch in Musgrave Park on Saturday bitterly disappointed that they had lost a nip-and-tuck Minor A championship group game with Kilkenny. On a bitterly cold afternoon they held the visitors scoreless for the last 20 minutes plus injury-time but, wind-assisted, failed to seal the deal. And yes, they could have and probably should have managed at least a draw, although the third quarter was their problem time in a highly competitive encounter.
The first quarter was good for the Saffrons who chose to play into the teeth of the breeze and they led by 0-4 to 0-3 with captain Róisín McCormick shooting all four scores from frees. However Kilkenny turned the screw after being awarded a 17th minute penalty which Afton Grace expertly fired home. Shortly after that goal, the same player picked up two half clearances to claim points and when she added a 22nd minute 45, the Cats were now 1-6 to 0-4 ahead. Ciara Laverty eventually got Antrim off the mark again with a point and that stopped the rot, although Therese Donnelly shot a quick point on the break for an interval lead of 1-7 to 0-5. Eilís Kearns, Megan McGarry and Eimear McMullan were superb at the back for Antrim during the opening half and the midfield and forwards worked extremely hard in winning and carrying ball. However Antrim didn’t capitalise on the use of the elements to eat into the lead immediately after the turnover. Shauna Tracey hit a Kilkenny point within 20 seconds of the throw-in and, although Róisín McCormick pointed twice in reply, Kilkenny hit 1-1 in two raids around the 40th minute. The captain provided the inspiration for the comeback; she got on to a long free from Maeve Kelly to force home a goal from close range in the 45th minute. Kelly won the poc out and pointed and McCormick fired over a free in the 49th minute – just three points now between the teams and plenty of time left.
However Kilkenny held tight at the back for the next 11 minutes and, although McCormick pointed twice in quick succession at the start of added time, the visitors held on for victory. Antrim : Aine Graham, Anna McNeill, Eilis Kearns, Emma McAreavey, Eimear McMullan, Megan McGarry, Caitlin Crawford, Maeve Kelly 0-1, Caoimhe McNaughton, Maura Downey, Roisin McCormick capt. 1-9, 0-7 frees, Erin Traynor, Mary McKillen, Ciara Laverty 0-1, Brigid Delargy Subs : Katie Laverty for A McNeill (HT), Eimear Matthews for C Crawford (42), Beth McAuley for B Delargy (42), Carla McGarry for M McKillen (45) Kilkenny scorers : Alton Grace 1-5, 1-0 pen, 0-3 frees, Therese Donnelly 1-1, Shauna Treacy 0-1, Mary Ellen Phelan 0-1, Áine Phelan 0-1 Referee : E Cassidy (Derry).
Two second half goals from
the impressive Matthew Fitzpatrick sealed an excellent victory for Antrim as an
eye catching performance saw them cross the winning line with an eleven point
advantage over visiting Wicklow at a blustery Corrigan Park today.
Despite the assistance
of a strong, northerly wind in the opening half the Saffron’s struggled to make
impact for most of the opening period.
The visitors looked more
composed and dominated the central zone from the outset as Conor McGraynor and
late replacement Anthony McLoughlin held aerial supremacy and they nipped into
a fully deserved 0-06 to 0-03 advantage after 25th minutes.
The home side lacked
any semblance of fluency up to that point but they did get it together in the
latter stages with Colum Duffin working overtime and a late flurry of points,
which included a couple from Ryan Murray ensured a 0-07 to 0-06 interval
Although they faced
the wrath of the elements in the second half Antrim started with an early point
from half time replacement Eoin Nagle and when the St Enda’s club man served up
a pin point cross to open the way for Matthew Fitzpatrick to finish to the net
Harbinson’s men were on their way.
The home side looked a
different proposition to the one who had struggled for long periods in the
opening half and Wicklow failed to get to grips.
As the Antrim defence
shut shop the visitors failed to score again until the 49th minute
when Anthony McLoughlin raised white but when Ryan Murray sent Fitzpatrick in
for a second major the home side had moved ten points clear and the game was as
good as over.
Such was Antrim’s
dominance that corner back Patrick McCormick and sweeper Declan Lynch got forward
for scores to see Antrim cross the line as impressive 2-15 to 0-10 winners.
In a season where
results have not favoured Antrim with a win over London their only success to
date, Antrim were badly in need of a win as Wicklow visited Corrigan Park on
The Saffron’s had the
strong breeze in their favour in the first half but in the event it was to be
the Garden County who dominated the opening exchanges.
Antrim looked less
than confident in approach with a strange reluctance to take a direct route and
too often coughed up possession.
Wicklow looked more
composed in the offensive and first to register as late replacement Patrick O’
Connor hoisted white in the third minute.
Ryan Murray, who was
lively from the outset got the home side away when he punished an indiscretion
on Odhran Eastwood sending the resultant award between the posts in the 5th
minute but they failed to push on at this point.
The Saffron’s lacked
ideas when in possession and the Leinster men took advantage and points from
Conor McGraynor and Anthony McLoughlin ensured a 0-03 to 0-01 lead at the end
of the opening quarter.
Kevin Quinn’s fine
left sided approach and a precision finish saw the home side register their
second score in the 20th minute and when Matthew Fitzpatrick followed
suit a few minutes later Antrim had drawn level.
The visitors were
quick to provide response however with the towering Conor Mc Graynor leading
The centre forward was
proving dominant in the air and after he had set up Mark Kenny to hoist white
and Patrick O’Connor added another, the towering McGraynor assumed
responsibility for the free taking duties and directed a right sided 30 metre
free firmly between the posts to see his side move 0-06 to 0-03 ahead.
Antrim, now three in
arrears as the end of the opening half approached staged a strong finish. Eunan
Walsh replaced out of sorts Michael McCarry with team captain Declan Lynch
moving to the centre of the defence and suddenly things began to come together.
It was the
intervention of the hard grafting Lamh Dhearg man that opened the way for
Matthew Fitzpatrick to drive through the middle and send between the posts
before Odhran Eastwood added another.
The home side dominated
the closing stages and a late double from the hard working Ryan Murray ensured
an interval advantage of 0-07 to 0-06 which had seemed unlikely a few minutes
Antrim started the
second half with a slender lead but the question was, would it be enough given
the strength of the breeze they were to face in the second half?
In the event those doubts
were quickly dismissed as the Saffron’s began on the positive and half time
replacement Eoin Nagle opened with a point seconds into proceedings.
The St. Enda’s
youngster continued to impress and after gathering a pass from Declan Lynch his
accurate cross field delivery opened the way for Matthew Fitzpatrick to send to
The Antrim men looked
transformed and despite facing the elements continued to press with confidence
as back to back points by Fitzpatrick and Ryan Murray saw them move 1-10 to
The visitors, having
lost their way finally responded through Anthony McLoughlin who raised back to
back white flags from respective free kicks in the 48th and 53rd
minutes but they were then reduced in number for a ten minute period as mid
fielder Dean Healey was issued black.
Ryan Murray and Eoin
Nagle added points apiece as Antrim took control all over the pitch. Declan
Lynch came forward to split the posts before Ryan Murray combined in stylish
approach with Matthew Fitzpatrick for the latter to add his second major and
the end was in sight.
Wicklow did add
another couple of points to their total via late replacement Chris O’Brien and
net minder Mark Jackson from a long range free but the home side were to have
the final say.
Corner back Patrick McCormick
moved forward to split the posts to add to another by Ryan Murray and usher
Antrim over the line on a 2-15 to 0-10 winning score.
The second half
performance was the best Antrim have produced this season and was perhaps a
reflection on what might have been. They lost against Derry, Leitrim and Waterford
by a single point with Derry and Leitrim set to contest the division 4 final later
in the month.
With a wee bit of luck
and more composure and belief Antrim might well have been in contention for one
of the promotion spots going into their final game away to Limerick but will be
hoping to finish with a win as they prepare for theirUlster championship opener
Nugent, Patrick Mc Cormick (0-01), Patrick Gallagher, James McAuley, Niall
Delargy, Michael McCarry, Declan Lynch (0-01), Matthew Fitzpatrick (2-03),
Martin Johnston, Kevin Quinn (0-01), Stephen Beatty, Patrick McBride, Colum
Duffin, Odhran Eastwood (0-01), Ryan Murray (0-06)
Eunan Walsh for M McCarry
Eoin Nagle (0-02) for
Ruairi McCann for P Mc
Fintan Burke for C
Wicklow:Mark Jackson (0-01),
Eoin Murtagh, Ross O’ Brien, Jamie Snell, David Devereaux, Shane Mooney,
Darragh Fitzgerald, Dean Healy, Padraig O’Toole, Darren Hayden, Conor McGraynor
(0-02), Theo Smith, Mark Kenny (0-01), Patrick O’ Connor (0-02), Anthony McLoughlin