Dunloy camogs into Ulster semi-final

21868170_10155940603274928_12043083_oBridie McMenamin Junior Shield Camogie

Dunloy 4-12 Ballinagh (Co. Cavan) 0-10

By Paul McLean

A pair of goals in each half was the difference in this quarter final of the Shield played in Co. Cavan. A hat trick of placed ball goals from Orlagh O’Neill and one for Erin Traynor kept Dunloy well in control in what was a tough physical encounter.

This was Dunloy’s first venture into Ulster in 9 years and were up against a Ballinagh team who had won the Cavan Junior championship for the first time in 7 years so to both sides this was a brand-new experience.

Ballinagh settled much quicker than Dunloy to register the game’s first score through an Aishling Smith point. Erin Traynor then tied the scores up with a well taken point from 45m out but a free by Rebecca Dunne restored the home team’s advantage as they started to look the better side in the opening ten minutes of the match.

Dunloy began to ‘find their feet’ as Caoimhe Quinn and then corner forward Lisa McGuckian fired over points to give Dunloy the lead, and one that they would not lose again. With the game so frantic and tight it would take piece of luck to give Dunloy their first score. Dearbhail Magill was fouled out the field after good work in the defence by Noelle Martin. Orlagh O’Neill stepped up to hit the resultant free and though it first appeared to be going over the bar the dipped at the last second and dropped under the crossbar and into Aoife McDermott’s net to give her team a major boost. It was a boost that this young Dunloy team needed as they had struggled in the opening 10 mins of the game to settle.

The home side hit back and two quick points from Rebecca Dunne and Josephine McGuire cut the gap to 1-03 to 0-04, but Erin Traynor fired over her second point to restore the 3-point cushion for the Antrim champions. The lead would soon be doubled as Orlagh O’Neill got her second goal of the game, yet again from a free. Her free dropped short and somehow ended up going past Aiofe McDermott to give Dunloy a valuable 6-point advantage.

Rebecca Dunne again was accurate from the placed ball to make it 2-04 to 0-05 but Orlagh O’Neill fired over a free to wipe to stretch the gap to six again and afterwards Lisa McGuckian and Ballinagh’s Eadaoin McDermott exchanged points to leave the half time score Dunloy 2-06 Ballinagh 0-06.

Ballinagh changed their keeper and moved the full back Emma Gumley into nets as they set about trying to get back into this game. Dearbhail Elliott and Rebecca Dunne traded points in the opening five mins of the half before Orlagh O’Neill knocked over another free to stretch the lead to seven.

Dunloy’s defence was playing much better in the second period as captain Jessica Rush, Fiona Hills and Noelle Martin were going through a mountain of work shutting down the Ballinagh attacks. As the game wore on they were sending long balls into the box more in hope than anything else as they struggled to make inroads into the score line.

Keeper Aoife McDermott, now operating in the half forward line, fired over a nice free from around the halfway line to keep Ballinagh with hope of trying to claw back the Dunloy lead, but that hope was soon to be extinguished as corner forward Orlagh O’Neill completed her hat trick of goals, once again from a free.

Erin Traynor’s pace and direct running was causing all sorts of bother in the Ballinagh back line so much so that she was harshly taken down on the 21-yard line. Orlagh O’Neill stepped up to hammer the ball low and hard to the net to make it 3-08 to 0-08. This effectively killed the Cavan girls challenge off. Dunloy were able to ring the changes with Aislinn Elliott, Luanne Smyth & Amy Johnston entering the play.

Orlagh O’Neill fired over her third point for the day after Dearbhaill Magill was fouled. Caoimhe Quinn followed this up with a point from close range and though Ballinagh got two final scores from Aoife McDermott and Josephine Maguire to end their scoring for the day as their challenge faded out.

Dearbhaill Magill got the score that her work rate for the hour deserved after a great pass from Clare McGuckian put her into space to raise the white flag. The final score of the day went to Aislinn Elliott who beat two defenders to fire it from wide on the right and over the bar. A great score to finish up a good day for Dunloy.

Ballinagh to their credit never gave up for the hour and when you consider they only got camogie going a number of years ago in the parish they are making great strides with the current crop of players. They suffered though with their lack of scores from play as they only registered 4 points from play for the hour and didn’t get a single shot on the Dunloy goal which cost them.

For Dunloy it was a much better second half after a lethargic first half hour where the three hour bus journey down didn’t help their preparations. Goals win games and it was the reason why Dunloy were in total control from the moment the first one went in.


In nets Liza McAllister was solid and controlled her entire back line. In front of her Jessica Rush was outstanding and lead like a captain in the back line. Noelle Martin and Fiona Hills had a busy hour but each time they were needed they cleared their lines.

In midfield Eilish Kearns and Clare McGuckian came to the fore in the second half when they got control of their area.

Up front Erin Traynor was yet again in great form with her strong running and willingness to take on the defenders. Dearbhaill Elliott and Dearbhaill Magill took a lot of abuse in the tackle but it was that work rate and earning frees that was the telling difference and along with Aislinn Elliott they all had a good game.

Orlagh O’Neill took full advantage of the home side’s indiscretions and her total of 3-3 from placed balls made the difference in the end.

Dunloy scorers:

Orlagh O’Neill 3-03 (all frees), Erin Traynor 1-02, Lisa McGuckian 0-02, Caoimhe Quinn 0-02, Dearbhaill Elliott 0-01, Dearbhaill Magill 0-01, Aislinn Elliott 0-01

Ballinagh Scorers:

Rebecca Dunne 0-04 (all frees), Aiofe McDermott 0-02 (all frees), Josephine Maguire 0-02, Aishling Smith, Eadaoin Maguire 0-01

Dunloy team:

L McAllister, S O’Mullan, J Rush, L McConville, N Martin, S Conlon, F Hills, C McGuckian, E Kearns, E Traynor, D Elliott, C Quinn, L McGuckian, D Magill, O O’Neill, Subs – A Elliott, A Ingram, L Smyth, M Ingram, A Johnston, K Kelly, K McFerran

Ballinagh team:

A McDermott, M Bradley, E Gumley, T Beard, K McAvoy, A Reilly, R Dourneen, D Duffy, A Smith, R Dunne, E McDermott, R Dourneen, M Duffy, J Maguire, C Reilly

Pics by Shauna Cunning

Loughiel win back Intermediate title

IMG_0599 copybDarragh’s Joinery Antrim Intermediate final

Shamrocks v Bridini Oga 1

Loughgiel players celebrate as the final whistle signals their victory over Bridini Oga Glenravel in Saturday’s Intermediate Champpionship final in Creggan. Pic by Dylan McIlwaine

Loughgiel 6-8 Brídíní Óga 1-4

Loughgiel won back the Darragh’s Joinery Antrim Intermediate title that St John’s took from them last year with a confident display against a Brídíní Óga side that battled hard but simply hadn’t got the cutting edge that the Shamrocks possessed.

Yet the game started as if it was promising something different with a length of the field move involving the McAleenans, Kirsten Edgar and Ashling Ward finished to the net by Torie Edgar with barely a minute on the clock.

That Glenravel didn’t build on that fantastic start however was down to how well Loughgiel’s defence settled with Katie McKillop a strong figure at centre-half back, while Katie Lynn dealt expertly with a number of other diagonal balls directed towards Torie Edgar in the first half.

That dominance in defence allowed their attack, and in particular Roisin McCormick and Charley McCarry, to stretch the Glenravel defence and Ciara Laverty finished three openings in the first quarter with goals to put her side in command of the game.

McCormick scored all the Loughgiel points in the opening half and they led by 3-4 to 1-1 at the break. It reflected how clinical the winners were in comparison to their opponents who snatched at chances after good approach work.

Loughgiel started the second half intending to finish the opposition off quickly – and they did! Roisin McCormick placed Charley McCarry for a goal in the opening minute with Therese McKinley and the McCormick sisters adding points, all inside the opening four minutes.

Caoimhe McAleenan responded with a free, but a left wing move from the Shamrocks was played into the path of Méadhbh McCormick who hit their fifth goal.

After that whirlwind start Glenravel came more into the game, and for perhaps a quarter of an hour pushed and probed at the Loughgiel defence, but failed to translate that pressure into scores.

Indeed there were few scores during the last 23 minutes – two frees from Caoimhe McAleenan, while Roisin McCormick pointed one for Loughgiel and a speculative high lob into the Glenravel goal area in the 54th minute caused a bit of confusion and Charley McCarry nipped in to tuck away her side’s sixth goal.

There wasn’t perhaps as big a gap in general play between the sides as the scoreline suggests, but by the same token Loughgiel knew how to put their less experienced opponents to the sword.

Loughgiel scorers : Eimear Boyle, Aoife O’Mullan, Katie Lynn, Louise McKillop, Maria Lynn, Katie McKillop, Eimear McGarry capt., Suzanne McKeown, Clare McKillop, Roisin McCormick 0-6, 0-3 frees, Méádhbh McCormick 1-1, Carla McGarry, Ciara Laverty 3-0, Charley McCarry 2-3, 0-1 free, Therese McKinley 0-1.

Subs: Brona McIntyre for S McKeown (53), Cara McIntyre for T McKinley (53), Lyndsay Higgins for C McCarry (55), Sarahanne McGarry for K Lynn (57), Megan McGarry for R McCormick (57).

Brídíní Óga: Aine Duffin, Lianne Kerr, Bernie Convery, Leona Traynor, Eimhear McAleenan, Ellen Hynds, Joanne McKeown, Laoise McKenna, Sian McNeill, Victoria Edgar 1-0, Shauna Kelly capt., Kirsty Laverty, Caoimhe McAleenan 0-4, 0-3 frees, Ashling Ward, Kirsten Edgar 0-1.

Subs : Clodagh McCann for S McNeill (40), Molly Woulahan for L Kerr (45).

Referee : Jimmy Totten (Cargin)

Pics by Dylan McIlwaine

Four in a row for super Shamrocks

image001 copybFire Stop and Seal Antrim Senior camogie championship final

Loughgiel 4-13 Ballycastle 0-6

Shamrocks v Bcastle 11

Loughgiel who completed a Four-In-A-Row of senior titles with their win over Ballycastle in Creggan. Pic by Dylan McIlwaine

By Seamus McAleenan

When Racquel Murphy pointed a 45 in first half injury time, it meant that all six starting forwards for Loughgiel had found the target and the holders held a 3-6 to 0-2 lead over a young Ballycastle side that couldn’t make inroads at the other end of the pitch.

And experience had a key role to play in the game as Loughgiel went on to complete their four-in-a-row and lift the O’Duffy Cup for the 20th time.

They were able to close out their opponents with only 16 year old Maeve Kelly after 20 minutes and Kathryn Donnelly five minutes from time managing to raise a Ballycastle flag from open play.

At the other end there were too many options for Ballycastle to close out, with Lucia McNaughton emerging as Player of the Match after plundering 1-3.

Despite a good opening quarter from the Ballycastle defence, Loughgiel’s first two scores were goals, from Aisling McFadden after five minutes and Chloe Higgins seven minutes later.

Points from Caoimhe Wright and Maeve Kelly cut the deficit to 2-1 to 0-2 after 20 minutes, but the winners hit another 1-5 before the break, the goal a Lucia McNaughton effort at a point that dipped under the bar into the corner of the net.


Two quick points on the restart from Racquel Murphy were followed by a second yellow and then a red card for Ballycastle midfielder Niamh Donnelly.

However her teammates rallied round and managed to bring their total to six points, before Loughgiel finished with a flurry of 1-2, the goal coming from a volley from Emma McMullan a minute from time.

Loughgiel : Megan Coyle, Aine Connolly, Laura Connolly, Ciara Boyle, Finvola McVeigh, Emma McFadden capt, Maeve Connolly, Christine Laverty, Amy Boyle, Caitrin Dobbin 0-2, Chloe Higgins 1-0, Lucia McNaughton 1-3, Aisling McFadden 1-1, Racquel Murphy 0-6, 0-3 frees, Emma McMullan 1-1.

Sub : Úna McNaughton for A Boyle (45), Maria Lynn for C Boyle, Katie McKillop for M Connolly, Roisin McCormick for C Dobbin, Eimear McGarry for C Laverty (all 53.

Ballycastle: Aoife McGowan, Maria Donnelly, Orla Donnelly, Bronagh McKeague, Catherine McShane, Emma Connor, Cliodhna Donnelly, Niamh Donnelly, Michaela Beattie, Emma Laverty, Kathryn Donnelly 0-1, Rhona Donnelly, Maeve Kelly, Caoimhe Wright 0-4 frees, Aine Donnelly.

Subs : Niamh Anne Donnelly for M Donnelly (46), Méabh O’Neill for C McShane (35).

Referee : Paul O’Neill (Creggan).

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Pics by Dylan McIlwaine