Shamrock’s made to battle for Sweet 16

Feis na nGleann – Senior Camogie Final

Sunday July 14

Loughgiel Shamrocks 2-15 Dunloy Cuchullains 3-11

Brendan McTaggart reports from the Feis na nGleann, Glenariffe

With a little over a quarter of this game remaining, it looked like there was a shock on the cards.  Loughgiel have been close to untouchable in the Feis and Dunloy had taken a five point lead thanks to the brilliance of Nicole O’Neill from placed ball.  The Shamrocks showed why they are the Queen’s of the Feis however and edged their rivals by one point in a pulsating hour of camogie to make it sweet 16, an incredible run of successive wins for the Shamrocks.

Roisin McCormick’s 45th minute goal sparked the revival, the young Shamrock finishing the game with a personal tally of 1-4 in another superb display with Christina Laverty bagging their first major in the opening half.  Dunloy played with such ferocity and intensity however and got goals in the first half at crucial times.  Their first from O’Neill before two in two minutes from Michaela and Erin Elliott gave them a six point lead at the end of the first quarter and while Loughgiel came back, the Cuchullains held a two point lead at the interval.

Dunloy continued with the same intensity after the interval and were worthy of their five point lead by the 43rd minute but Loughgiel pegged them back in the final quarter.  With the game played in energy sapping heat, the Cuchullains couldn’t break the momentum and Loughgiel did enough in the end to take a one point lead.

Loughgiel started the contest brightly with three white flags raised in the opening five minutes.  Roisin McCormick, Christine and Cara Laverty with the scores before the Cuchullains scored the opening goal of the contest.  Nicole O’Neill stood over a free 55 yards from goal and with the sliotar dropping, no one could manage a touch with the ball dropping into the back of the net. 

The site of the green flag being raised was exactly what Dunloy needed and Michaela Elliott scored their first point of the match in the seventh minute to give them the lead.  McCormick and Amy Boyle split the uprights either side of a Caoimhe Molloy point to leave the sides tied after the opening 10 minutes but Dunloy were beginning to find gaps in the Loughgiel defence and scored two majors in as many minutes to take control of the game.  Michaela Elliott with the first with a forceful drive and Erin Elliott with the second, owing much to the initial run and chance created by Nicole O’Neill.

Loughgiel responded by scoring their first major, Christina Laverty collecting a long delivery before rifling the sliotar beyond Lauren Elliott.  Both sides went toe to toe in the last ten minutes of the first half with Dunloy hitting points from O’Neill (three) and Molloy in answer to Anna Connolly, McCormick, Katie Lynn and Emma McMullan (two) to leave the Cuchullains ahead by two at the short whistle.

Half Time: Dunloy 3-6 Loughgiel 1-10

The opening 10 minutes of the second half was dominated by the free takers from both sides.  McMullan with a brace in the opening minutes to tie the scores before O’Neill landed four for Dunloy, two from distance to double the Cuchullains half time advantage after ten minutes of the second half.  When she split the posts to take her tally to 1-8 for the match, O’Neill looked like she was pointing the Cuchullains to an unlikely victory.  They were five points ahead and had all the answers to any questions the Shamrocks were posing.

Just like the first half when the Cuchullains were kicked into life with the sight of the green flag being raised, the Shamrocks were the same after Roisin McCormick’s major.  Emma McMullan’s free dropping short and the Dunloy defence failed to clear their lines with McCormick in the right place to pull the sliotar to the back of the Dunloy net in the 45th minute.

Emma McMullan landed her fifth point of the match, collecting a short free from Emma McFadden before splitting the uprights.  Another indication of the Shamrocks remaining cool under pressure before McCormick landed her fourth point from play to tie the sides in the 48th minute.  The game was still in the balance and while Loughgiel held the momentum, Dunloy were defending for their lives, they just couldn’t get the break in midfield that would stop the rot.  Loughgiel were applying pressure and Emma McMullan’s sixth point of the final in the 53rd minute ultimately proved to be the winner as the Shamrocks kept the Cuchullains under wraps in the time that remained.

Loughgiel Camog’s, Queens of the Feis once again.

TEAMS

Loughgiel: Megan Coyle; Charlene Campbell, Chloe Higgins, Maria Lynn; Emma McFadden, Maeve Connolly, Shauna Devlin; Amy Boyle, Lucia McNaughton; Roisin McCormick, Emma McMullan, Katie Lynn; Anna Connolly, Christina Laverty, Cara Laverty.

Scorers: Roisin McCormick 1-4; Emma McMullan 0-6 (4 f’s, 1 ’45); Christina Laverty 1-1; Amy Boyle 0-1; Katie Lynn 0-1; Anna Connolly 0-1; Cara Laverty 0-1.

Dunloy: Lauren Elliott; Annie Laverty, Chloe Drain, Leann Reid; Eimer McMullan, Katie Laverty, Kathryn Boyle; Sinead Martin, Shannon Woulahan; Caoimhe Molloy, Nicole O’Neill, Erin Elliott; Michaela Elliott, Aileen McManus, Dearbhaill Magill.

Subs: Nicola O’Neill 1-8 (5 f’s, 2 ‘45’s); Michaela Elliott 1-1; Erin Elliott 1-00; Caoimhe Molloy 0-2.

Referee: Maggie O’Connell (Geraldine’s, Portglenone)

North Antrim Fixtures up to Sunday 21st July 2019

NA U14B Shield

21 Jul 2019           Naomh Eanna       v             Tir Na nOg                           6.00pm

NA U14B Shield

21 Jul 2019           Con Magees Glenravel         v         All Saints                              6.00pm

NA U14A Shield

21st July Dunloy v Ballycastle 6.00 pm

Depleted Saffrons edge Derry

TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship: Group B-  Round One

Derry 2-08-1-13 Antrim

From Kevin Herron at Lissan

Antrim ladies made a winning start to their TG4 All-Ireland junior campaign after a hard fought 1-13-2-08 victory over Derry in Lissan this afternoon.

Missing four-regulars from their Ulster Final win in Clones two weeks ago; the Saffrons anticipated a tough encounter and that’s just what they got.

Despite racing into four lead at the beginning of each half – the Oakleafers refused to throw in the towel and it wasn’t until a goal from substitute Mairiosa McGourty that the Ulster Champions began to pull clear.

Leading by eight-points it appeared as though the Saffrons were poised for victory but a late sting saw referee Paul Burke twice signal for a penalty – on each occasion Ciara Moore converted to set-up a grandstand finish.

The visitors lost Emma Kelly and Caitlin Taggart but were able to hang on and claim a crucial win which may just earn a semi-final spot next month.

Antrim came into the game off the back of a stunning comeback win against Fermanagh to clinch the Ulster title – but were without the services of captain Saoirse Tennyson, Aine Tubridy, Mairead Cooper and Niamh Enright- all starters in that win, as well as Magee sisters Emma and Michelle.

Played under the blistering sunshine in Lissan it was Antrim who forged ahead through a fine Caitlin Taggart point.

Cathy Carey converted a free and almost provided the opening goal of the game – slipping the ball into the path of Aoife Taggart whose shot was blocked down and Taggart instead elected to find sister Caitlin who claimed her second point of the afternoon.

An angled free from Lara Dahunsi had the visitors 0-04-0-00 ahead after ten minutes but Derry hit back.

Ciara Moore got her side off the mark with converted frees either side of the midway point and Nicole Nugent’s venture out of defence resulted in the hosts first score from play the make it a one-point game with 20 minutes gone (0-04-0-03).

Both sides were guilty of squandering a few opportunities in front of the posts – though Derry were very much in the ascendancy heading for the break and levelled through a fine point from midfielder Danielle Kivlehan.

But Antrim would regain their lead at the interval as Caitlin Taggart converted a free in front of posts to give her side a slender 0-05-0-04 lead.

Derry had the better of the opening exchanges at the beginning of the second-half and pulled level through an Aoife Laverty point from a tight angle.

Though just as the opening half – Antrim opened up a four point lead, with the all the scores arriving from a St James’ trio.

Despite Caitlin Taggart twice firing off target in the opening exchanges – sister Aoife edged the Saffrons ahead for the third time in proceedings.

Caitlin then atoned for her two earlier misses; converting a free and then producing a fabulous point from play.

In the blink of an eye it was 0-09-0-05 as Nicole Jones split the posts for her first point of the afternoon to join her club-mates on the score sheet.

Derry hit back and halved the deficit midway through the second-half – Ciara Moore played a one-two with the large post and registered her third point of the afternoon.

A second point then followed from Aoife Laverty as the hosts determination kept them firmly in contention.

Antrim manager Sean O’Kane decided to introduce Mairiosa McGourty from the bench and it wasn’t long before the St Galls forward made her presence felt.

Upon her introduction- McGourty seized a poor kick from Derry goalkeeper Kathryn Connery, Connery made herself big and looked to have done enough to pressure McGourty – but the 27-year old lofted the ball into the net to open up a five-point advantage with 12 minutes remaining (1-09-0-07).

Confidence was high amongst the Saffrons ranks in the aftermath as Cathy Carey tagged on successive points; a fine angled point and a converted free from range.

Aoife Taggart and Lara Dahunsi added further scores and with six-minutes remaining, it looked to be game over with the visitors holding a nine-point lead (1-13-0-07).

Derry were in urgent need of a goal – though their next score was a point courtesy of Clodagh Laverty.

However with two minutes remaining a goal chance arrived after referee Paul Burke adjudged there to have been a push in the back in the Antrim area and signalled for a penalty.

Ciara Moore twice missed a penalty in the sides last clash in the Ulster semi-final last month – but made no mistake on this occasion – powerfully firing past Anna McCann to make it 1-13-1-08.

Antrim still had five points to spare with four minutes of injury-time remaining – though they were rocked a minute into injury-time as referee Burke awarded Derry a second penalty for an alleged foot-block from Emma Kelly who was sin-binned as a result.

Moore stepped forward again and despite Anna McCann getting fingertips to the shot – the half forward’s shot found the net to set-up a grandstand finish.

With a numerical advantage and all the momentum – it was Derry who pressed for the winner and almost clinched it as a high ball into the edge of the square fell nicely for Danielle Kivlehan who went through one-on-one, but shot a matter of inches wide of the post.

Antrim played the possession game in the dying embers though were reduced to 13-players as Caitlin Taggart received a yellow-card, there was barely enough time for Derry to further capitalise as referee Burke blew his full-time whistle to the relief of the Saffron contingent.

With a two-week break coming up – manager Sean O’Kane will hope his squad will be close to full strength by the time they host familiar foes Fermanagh in clash that will no doubt determine the final standings in Group B.

Derry: K Connery, N Nugent (0-01), C Glass, N Browne, G Conway, O McEvoy, A Frizelle, D Kivlehan (0-01), A McGough, A Laverty (0-02), C Moore (2-03, 2-02f), C McGurk, C Laverty (0-01), D Donnelly, K Holly. Subs: A Crozier for O McEvoy (41 mins); C Lynn for D Donnelly (53 mins); L McIlroy for C Laverty (57 mins).

Antrim: A McCann, S Haughey, E Kelly, O Corr, N Webb, C Brown, K Farren, A McFarland, C Carey (0-03, 0-02f), C Taggart (0-05, 0-02f), M Hanna, N Jones (0-01), N Killen, L Dahunsi (0-02), A Taggart (0-02). Subs: J McNulty for O Corr (33 mins); M McGourty (1-00) for N Jones (48 mins).

Referee: Paul Burke (Louth)

Naomh Éanna claim U16 B crown

U16B Championship Final

St Paul’s 1-6 Naomh Éanna 2-9

Sunday July 14

Brendan McTaggart reports from the Feis na nGleann, Glenariffe

Naomh Éanna produced a strong second half to see off the challenge of St Paul’s on Sunday afternoon to take the U16B championship final.  The Hightown Road men had six points to spare over their counterparts with captain Oscar Smyth leading the way for his side.  Finishing the hour with 1-2, the Naomh Éanna captain put in a monumental shift to ensure it would be his side who would be celebrating at the final whistle.

St Paul’s started the contest brightly and but for some wayward shooting, they could have built a substantial lead before Naomh Éanna scored their opening point of the match in the 16th minute.  Indeed were it not for the reflexes of Pearse Rodgers between the sticks, the Shaw’s Road side would have scored a major in the opening seconds.  Rogers denying Caoimhin Killyleagh.

They did score the opening point with Callum Murray splitting the posts in the eighth minute but a series of opportunities came and gone for the St Paul’s men and Naomh Éanna grew into the game.  The St Paul’s cause was disrupted with the sending off of Rossa Morgan, the St Paul’s defender seeing red for an altercation with a member of the Naomh Éanna management team, giving the momentum to the Hightown Road side.

A brace of frees from Oisin Ó Cuinn and Luke O’Connor gave Naomh Éanna the lead and one they would hold onto for the remainder of the game.  O’Connor and Paul Og Donnelly swapped points before Naomh Éanna landed the first telling blow of the final.  Smyth’s effort somehow managing to evade Fionn Ireland between the sticks for St Paul’s and give Naomh Éanna a four point half time lead.

St Paul’s started the second half brightly and in Donnelly and Lorcan Phillips they had two players who could create something out of nothing but the Naomh Éanna defence were on top of their game.

An early Donnelly score was answered by a brilliant point from Smyth and Eoin Logue before Donnelly scored his third of the final to leave four between the sides once again. 

The second goal came in the 38th minute and effectively put Naomh Éanna in control.  Logue with the first effort that Fionn Ireland saved before Matthew Curry swept home the rebound to give his side a seven point lead. 

St Paul’s answered with Donnelly (free) before Caoimhin Duffy scored their major in the 42nd minute.  Duffy on the end of a brilliant team move to fire the sliotar beyond Rogers but it was as close as St Paul’s got to Naomh Éanna.  The Hightown Road side landed a brace of points from Ó Cuinn and Smyth to open a five point lead going into the last ten minutes.

St Paul’s began to go for goals in the time that remained but were denied by Rogers in the Naomh Éanna goals along with some astute defending.  Aaron Carey landed a ’65 in the last minute of normal time but Naomh Éanna had the final say with O’Connor’s third free of the match along with Ó Cuinn’s third white flag to give the Hightown Road side a winning margin of 2-9 to 1-6.

TEAMS

Naomh Éanna: Pearse Rogers; Ciaran McAllister, Eoghan O’Hare, Dylan Graham; Colm Curran, Luke O’Connor, Malachi McGibbon; Oisin Ó Cuinn, Ronan Eager; Oscar Smyth, Richard Gossrau, Cian O’Connor; Jacob Mackin, Eoin Logue, Matthew Curry.

Scorers: Oscar Smyth 1-2; Luke O’Connor 0-3 (3 f’s); Oisin Ó Cuinn 0-3 (1 f); Matthew Curry 1-00; Eoin Logue 0-1.

St Paul’s: Fionn Ireland; Conor Connolly, Tiarnan Auld, Rossa Morgan; Thomas Duff, Aaron Carey, Cónall Duffy; Paul Og Donnelly, Caoimhin Duffy; Declan Quinn, Caoimhin Killyleagh, Sean Fay; Callum Murray, Michael Howell, Daire Maginn.

Scorers: Paul Og Donnelly 0-4 (2 f’s); Caoimhin Duffy 1-00; Aaron Carey 0-1 (1 ’65); Callum Murray 0-1.

Referee: Malachy Leech (Glenariffe)

Rasharkin take feis crown after epic final

Feis na nGleann – Senior Football Final

Saturday July 13

Rasharkin 3-20 All Saints 3-17 (aet)

It took an additional ten minutes of extra time to decide where the Senior Feis Cup would lay for 2019.  After a hugely entertaining encounter and a ding dong battle, it was Rasharkin who outlasted All Saint’s to win by three points.

No one could have foreseen what was about to transpire with a little over five minutes of normal time remaining.  Jack Quinn had just bagged Rasharkin’s third goal of the contest and opened up what they would have though and unassailable seven point lead.  All Saint’s came roaring back however and with the Kavan Keenan penalty in the fifth minute of injury time, tied the sides to force extra time.

It was the second time during the second half that the Ballymena side clawed their way back into the game.  Conor McFerran top scored for the St Mary’s men with 1-8 to his name and his 45th minute goal had opened a seven point lead but a youthful All Saint’s side showed tremendous spirit and desire to remain in the final.  Emmett McAllister’s 54th minute major coming moments before Quinn’s three pointed. Rasharkin controlled the two five minute periods of extra time with Tiernan O’Boyle, McFerran (two) and Shane Hasson raising white flags with Diarmuid McNally’s fourth free out of 0-6 overall the only response for the Ballymena men.

Martin Magee presents the Feis Cup to Rasharkin Captain, Thomas McMullan

With both sides showing plenty of changes from their recent league matches, the first half was a wrestle for supremacy.  The Ballymena men took an early two point lead before Shane Hasson opened Rasharkin’s account with a fourth minute free.  Brendan McDonnell’s first of five points opened the two point lead once again before Gerard O’Hagan landed the opening goal of the contest in the 15th minute to give the men from Dreen the lead for the first time in the match. The remainder of the half was tit for tat scoring.  Shane McBride, McDonnell, Connell Lemon and McNally firing over for All Saint’s with O’Boyle, Conor McFerran, Shane and Andre Hasson finding the target for Rasharkin to leave the men from Dreen ahead by the minimum at the interval.

Half time: Rasharkin 1-6 All Saints 0-8

Both sides started the second half brightly but when Damien Casey scored All Saint’s first major of the match after six minutes, it looked like they would push on after opening a two point gap once again.  That wasn’t to be however with that major being their last score for ten minutes.  In that same space of time, Rasharkin rallied to score 1-7.  Shane Hasson (free), Pearse Kelly and Gerard O’Hagan accompanying an electrifying spell from Conor McFerran.  The Rasharkin man’s 46th minute penalty rounding off a seven minute scoring burst where he hit 1-3 out of his sides 1-7 in ten minutes.

McDonnell stopped the rot for the Ballymena men with fine scores either side of Shane Hasson’s first from play but when McFerran took his tally to 1-6 for the match in the 49th minute, the St Mary’s men led by seven with a little over ten minutes remaining.

Substitute Emmett McAllister gave them a brief glimmer of hope when he bagged his sides second major of the match but for Jack Quinn to respond with a major of his own immediately after the restart.  The All Saints men laid siege on the Rasharkin goals in the time that remained, however.  Points from Damien Kelly and three frees from McNally brought them to within a goal of Rasharkin with Keenan’s 65th minute penalty forcing extra time.

Full time: Rasharkin 3-16 All Saint’s 3-16

Having watched the Feis crown slip from their grasp in the closing stages, Rasharkin could have been forgiven for giving up the ghost.  Not so.  They landed the only two scores of the first five minutes of extra time with O’Boyle and Conor McFerran and while McNally’s fourth free of the final halved the deficit soon after the restart, Rasharkin ensured they would be celebrating at the final whistle with Shane Hasson and Conor McFerran adding the final touches.

An entertaining game in which Rasharkin did enough to edge.  Both sides were missing regulars but Rasharkin had a little more knowhow and experience where it mattered most.

TEAMS

Rasharkin: Ryan Doherty; Daniel McGurk, Dominic McFerran, Pearse Kelly; Donagh Quigg, Conor Hasson, Killian O’Boyle; Jack Quinn, Thomas McMullan; Shane Hasson, Andrew Hasson, Fergus Quigg; Gerard O’Hagan, Tiernan O’Boyle, Conor McFerran.

Scorers: Conor McFerran 1-8 (1f); Shane Hasson 0-5 (3 f’s); Gerard O’Hagan 1-1; Tiernan O’Boyle 0-3; Jack Quinn 1-00; Andrew Hasson 0-2 (2 f’s); Pearse Kelly 0-1.

All Saints: Steven McAvoy; Aiden O’Connell, Ronan Ward, Damian Kelly; Kavan Keenan, Ciaran Shannon, Ciaran McGarry; Connell Lemon, Emmett Killough; Diarmuid McNally, Brendan McConnell, Shane McBride; Ciaran McLarnon, Damian Casey, Lee Kirk.

Scorers: Diarmuid McNally 0-6 (4 f’s); Brendan McDonnell 0-5; Kavan Keenan 1-1; Damian Casey 1-00; Emmett McAllister 1-00; Connell Lemon 0-2; Shane McBride 0-1; Emmett Killough 0-1; Damian Kelly 0-1.