Antirm Camogs face Waterford on Saturday in Creggan in Division 1B of the Very National Camogie League, knowing that they will probably need something out of the game if they are to qualify for the semi-finals. The Saffron face Wexford away in the final game, which will not be and easy task and though Waterford are ranked higher than the Slaneysiders, home advantage may make the difference.
Elaine Dowds’ side is still unbeaten in the league with wins over Down and Limerick under their belts, and though they did slip up last week against Offaly, they still very well to claw their way back from eight down at half time to earn a draw.
Waterford will be at a level Antrim haven’t faced so far this year, but they are not unbeatable. the Deice side will have a few of the St Angela’s side team who beat CPC in the Senior Colleges All Ireland A final replay back in 2019, so Roisin McCormick, Aine Magill & Co. could be meeting a few familiar foes.
CPC and Garron Tower served up a highly entertaining game of camogie in Ballycastle on Wednesday afternoon. CPC started the brighter with an early goal from Louise McBride and points from Eimear McCaughan and Cliodhna Thompson. St. Killian’s responded well when Eva McNeill converted a free.
Then following great work from Tamara Black, Eva McNeill cut into from the left wing to finish brilliantly to the CPC net. The Convent didn’t panic and they moved the ball upfield through the lively Adria McAlister, Cliodhna Thompson gathered around the square and her intelligent pass found Teagan Cassidy in space who made no mistake blasting past Laoiseach McNaughton in the Tower goals. Eva McNeill steadied the ship for St. Killian’s when she converted her second free of the day but CPC were showing the greater urgency. Louise McBride fired over a point and Cliodhna Thompson converted a 45 after a fine save from Laoiseach McNaughton. A long delivery by Adria McAlister glanced off Cliodhna Thompson’s stick to the net and with time running out in the 1st half Thompson again found Teagan Cassidy who finished to the back of the Tower net to leave the score at half time CPC 4-3 St. Killian’s 1-2.
St. Killian’s needed a good start to the second half and they got it. As conditions worsened Eva McNeill scored two points in the opening minutes to give the Tower girls hope. But this was soon extinguished Eimear McCaughan goaled with five minutes to go. And it was left to the excellent Adria McAlister to get the final point of the match. Final score CPC 5-4 St. Killian’s 1-4.
The game was played in an excellent spirit with plenty of top quality performances from both teams. CPC were well served by Fiadh Sands and Brid O’Kane in defence, Adria McAlister and Louise McBride in midfield and Teagan Cassidy and Cliodhna Thompson up front. Best for Garron Tower were Erin McNaughton and Aibrean Campbell at the back, Eva McNeill at midfield and Tamara Black up front.
CPC scores T Cassidy 2-0, C Thompson 1-2, L McBride 1-2, E McCaughan 1-0, A McAlister 0-1.
Loughgiel’s Anna McKillop gave an exhibition of free taking in the second half of Sunday’s Ulster Minor Camogie Championship against Derry at Edendork, as she steered Antrim to a hard fought victory over Derry.
Antrim fell behind when Derry’s Carla Collins pointed her fifth free nine minutes into the second half to give to give the Oak Leaf girls a 0-9 to 1-4 lead, but McKillop showed her class when she hit the target on five occasion going down the home straight to see Antrim retain their Ulster title.
In a hard fought game Derry had the better of things in the opening half and were good value for their 0-6 to 1-2 advantage at half time. Though Antrim will point to a couple of goal chances they let slip in the opening period.
Derry were more economical with their chances however and hit just one wide, while Antrim were off target with four attempts during that time.
The Oak Leaf girls went two ahead when Caitlin Cambpell and Orlaith Hull hit the opening two points but after Hull’s score, Clodagh McPeake put Eobha McAllister in the clear and Rosheen Doherty could do nothing put haul her down for a penalty.
Anna McKillop stepped up and sent Doherty the wrong way for the only goal of the game and then she and Connla Kerr exchanged points, before Carla Collins levelled from half-way line.
Grace Kelly’s point right on the whistle edged Derry ahead at the break and after the restart Collins pointed a free to put Derry two ahead.
Anna McKillop from a free and Cara O’Boyle from play soon had Antrim level again and they appeared to be getting a bit of control but Collins with two pointed frees squared things up once again. It looked like anyone’s game at this stage but McKillop two McKillop frees inside three minutes midway the half turned the game in Antrim’s favour. From that stage on the Saffrons held the upper hand, and two further points from Player of the Match McKillop sealed the win. Both teams will be pleased with the good work-out ahead of the first round of group games in the Electirc Ireland All-Ireland minor championships next weekend.
Despite defeat Derry are still in the championship, which sees the start of the round robin series next weekend. Antrim will Clare in Abbottstown while Derry have a home game against Carlow.
Antrim: L Mulholland, A Donnelly capt., A McNeill, C Crawford, S Heggarty, D Dobbin, E Coulter, J McIntosh, C O’Boyle (0-1), A McKillop (1-7, 1-0 pen, 0-7 frees), M McArthur, O McAlister, K McNeill, C McPeake (0-1), E McAllister.
Sub: C Connolly for C McPeake (47)
Derry: R Doherty, A McOscar, C McGarry, MK Turner, C Ferris, E Kelly, R Keenan, C Kerr (0-1), O Hull (0-1), G Kelly (0-1), C Collins(0-5 frees), E Doyle capt., K Connery, C Campbell (0-1), B McCloskey.
Subs: E Doherty for C McGarry (15), M Boyan for MK Turnrr (25), B McLaughlin for B McClloskey (33), E McCormick for K Connery (55)
Antrim Senior Camogs staged a great second half comeback to earn themselves a share of the spoils against Offaly in Saturday’s Very National Camogie League Division 1B game in Bannagher Co Offaly. Trailing by eight points at half time (2-7 to 1-2) it looked like the Saffron’s unbeaten run was coming to an end, but they showed great fighting quality in the second half to claw their way back. It appeared it might all have come to nothing as Offaly held on until the final minute but Niamh Cosgrove came to her team’s rescue when she landed a long range point in the final seconds to gain her team a point.
The opening half was all Offaly as Antrim’s long journey south was clearly taking its toll. Corner forward Siobhan Flannery got their opening point inside a minute but Caitrin Dobbin brought Antrim level on five when she sent over a free.
Points from Flannery and left half forward Lisa Gorman put the home team o-3 to 0-1 ahead, but when Aine Magill got through for a goal on 10 minutes to go one clear it appeared that Antrim had weathered the early storm. However it was Offaly who took control and during the next ten minutes they ran riot, scoring two goals and three points without reply, the goals coming from Sarah Harding and Mairead Teenan.
Caitrin Dobbin stopped the rot for Antrim with a pointed free, but the home team finished the half strongly with a point from centre forward Rachel Brennan to go in at the break with an eight point cushion.
A strong start to the second half which brought three pointed frees from Caitrin Dobbin and one from play by Aine Magill cut the deficit in half by the ninth minute and things looked a lot more positive at this stage. Offaly came back with a point from full forward Sarah Harding, but it was to be their only score of the second half. The five point cushion the home side enjoyed was still intact as the game entered the last ten minutes, and the Saffron’s chance appeared be fading, but a goal from midfielder Siobhan McKillop breathed new life into the challenge.
Caitrin Dobbin cut the gap back to a point with five minutes still to play, before McKillop was hauled down as she headed toward goal and Niamh Cosgrove landed a pressure free from long range to secure the draw.
Antrim : Á Magill (1-1), S McKillop (1-0), C Dobbin (0-6 frees), N Cosgrove (0-1 free)
Offaly: S Harding (1-2), M Teehan (1-0), S Flannery (0-4, 3 frees), l Gorman (0-1), R Brennan (0-1)
Antrim: C Graham; C Patterson, C Conlon, M Lynn; A Boyle, L McNaughton, N Cosgrove; S Graham, S McKillop; K McKillop, M McKillen, Á Magill; F Kelly, C McArthur, C Dobbin. Subs: NA Donnelly for F Kelly (50), N Devlin for C McArthur (59)
Offaly: E Gilligan, S Moore, A Roddy, A Feeney, S Walsh, O Phelan, O Gorman, G Dolan capt, L Mannion, A McLoughlin, R Brennan, L Gorman, M Teehan, S Harding, S Flannery