First half goal blitz sets Cushendall up for shock win

Antrim Camogie League – Division 1

Cushendall 6-08 Dunloy 2-11

A first half goal blitz from the home side had this game won by half time but a second half come back from Dunloy made life that bit more uncomfortable for the Ruairi Og girls. In the end an injury time goal forced home by Sinead Cosgrove and a pointed free from Orlagh O’Hara made the result safe and the two points.

Dunloy came into this game on the back of an impressive win over Ballycastle and for Cushendall it was their first competitive outing of the year but it was the home side who started the more hungry and this was to show in the first five minutes of play.

Three goals and a point were scored by the Ruairi girls as they blew the Dunloy defence apart. Firstly, Dervla Cosgrove raised the green flag then followed by a double by full forward Orlagh O’Hara to made it 0-00 to 3-01 to the home side.

Dunloy got themselves on the score board with a point from a Nicole O’Neill free which she then repeated not long after to give Dunloy two points in a row. However, Cushendall wiped this out with yet another goal on the score board.

A sideline from Dervla Cosgrove was struck brilliantly into the Dunloy box and it managed to end up in the net to leave it 4-01 to 0-02 and Dunloy in serious trouble.

Aine Magill got her teams first point from play with a well worked score wide on the right-hand side of the field but points from Sinead and Dervla Cosgrove sandwiched between another Nicole O’Neill free maintained the home sides comfortable lead.

Dunloy did have chances for goals with Erin Elliott hitting the post and Nicole O’Neill having her shot well saved by Leah Cosgrove in nets to get back into contention but they were not ruthless enough compared to the home side who yet again found their way through for a fifth goal.

Siobhan McKillop fired long into the Dunloy full back line and the ball broke to Amiee McDonnell to fire how low in the net to leave the half time score Cushendall 5-05 Dunloy 0-05.

With the wind at their backs and nothing to lose Dunloy started well with Aileen McManus slotting over a free. This was in turn wiped out by two long range Dervla Cosgrove frees. But unbelievably this would turn out to be their last score for the next 25minutes of the second half as Dunloy turned the game on its head and were on top for the remainder of it.

A pointed free from Nicole O’Neill was followed by a close range shot from corner forward Michaela Elliott and 5 minutes later followed up by a tap in from substitute Erin Traynor.

All of a sudden, the visitors had the bit between their teeth and were sensing they could get back into the game. The water break came at probably a bad time for the visitors as it gave the home side that time to gather themselves back together where their defence would get back winning the dirty ball.

Claire Kearney and full back Brigid Delargy were working hard to break up the visitor’s attacks and earn their side vital frees to relieve the pressure.

Two more points from Nicole made it 5-07 to 2-09 but Dunloy shot wide on goal when the perfect chance fell to them. The home side then got in on goal as Sinead Cosgrove burst through leaving the Dunloy defence forced to pull here down and concede the penalty. Orlagh O’Hara stepped up but her well placed shot was saved on the line by the defenders and the resulting clearance and shot was missed.

Aine Magill and Nicole O’Neill again split the posts to make it 2-11 to 5-07 but this was as close as Dunloy would get as the Cushendall defence held out strong to prevent any more scores. Sinead Cosgrove got a last min goal after Dervla Cosgrove’s free hit the upright and fell kindly in the box where she fired low making no mistake. Orlagh O’Hara wrapped up a fine evening for herself by tapping over a free right on the final whistle making

A fantastic game for the neutral but probably a nightmare for each set of managements as both sides had strong half’s in contrast to their other.

Cushendalls first half blitz of 5-05 should have had them home on a boat but Dunloy outscored them in the second period 2-07 to 0-02 right into injury time where they bagged 1-01 to secure victory. On looking at the stats Dunloy hit 6 wides in the first half and had two goal shots saved whereas Cushendall didn’t miss a single shot they took on the Dunloy goal giving them the foundation for a well-deserved win.

Cushendall

L Cosgrove, A Leech, B Delargy, A McClafferty, C McNaughton, C Kearney, C McKillop, D Cosgrove, S McKillop, L McMullan, S Cosgrove, B Abram, E Leech, O O’Hara, A McDonnell

Dunloy

A Scott, E McMullan, C Drain, C McGuckian, D Magill, C Conlon, K Laverty, A McManus, C Molloy, A Magill, N O’Neill, S McIlhatton, M Martin, E Elliott, M Elliott

Unstopable Shamrocks power home in style

McQuillan’s Ballycastle 1-07 Loughgiel Shamrocks 8-14

Another emphatic win by Loughgiel camogs on Tuesday night served fresh warning, if warning was needed the Shamrocks are still out on their own in Antrim Camogie. They once again amassed a highly impressive total as their forward division turned on the style at Pairc MacUílín with Roisin McCormick hitting 4-7 and Caitrin Dobbin 2-3.

Ballycastle started the night off well with Aine Donnelly pointing in the second minute, quickly followed by Caoimhe Wright. Their defence started off very strong and it took until the 6th minute before Loughgiel broke through for their first attack, but Roisin McCormick’s shot went to the wrong side of the post. From the puc-out Maeve Connolly won the ball and simple ball to Roisin McCormick was placed between the upright to give Loughgiel their opening score.

The first goal of the night came moments later as McCormick solo ran towards goal but was denied by Aoife McGowan on her first attempt, a goal mouth scramble occurred with Roisin able to get the final touch to force the ball over the line.

Caitrin Dobbin and Christine Laverty were on hand shortly after wards to score goals and points in quick succession for the Shamrocks.

Ballycastle carried the ball up the field to make another attack themselves but Aine Donnelly was unlucky this time around has her shot goes to the wrong side of the post. Niamh O’Neill got her name on the score sheet with a well-taken point as she got out in front of Chloe Higgins to win the ball just before the water break.

From the restart Emma McMullan doubled on an aerial ball sending it into Christine Laverty in the corner who finished with a hand pass to the net. Ballycastle responded well with Cliodhna Donnelly pouncing on a poor clearance by the Loughgiel defence, she looked up and found her twin sister Aine in space for a simple score to add to her earlier point.

The half finished with a floury of scores, two points for Caitrin Dobbin, and well-taken 21meter free by Niamh Donnelly gave Ballycastle their only green flag of the night.  But too long range frees from Roisin McCormick slipped under the cross bar and gave Loughgiel a good cushion at the break with a half time score of Loughgiel 5-05 to Ballycastle 1-04.

The second half continued much the same as the first half ended with the Shamrocks really finding their stride and Ballycastle struggling to break through the defence.  Roisin McCormick tried to run through the Ballycastle defence but fantastic defending by Niamh Donnelly didn’t allow Roisin to get a shot away. Lucia McNaughton played a good cross field ball into Laverty in the corner, who composed herself well and good defending by Catherine McShane kept Laverty in the corner and didn’t let her passed. Unfortunately for Ballycastle Laverty seen the in running Lucia McNaughton and an inch perfect pass allowed Lucia to point with ease.

Loughgiel continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over with points from Roisin McCormick and Katie Lynn. Caoimhe Wright responded for Ballycastle with a point from the dead ball after being fouled herself, but Loughgiel responded with a goal either side of the water break. The first one came from Caitrin Dobbin from a tight angle as she ran along the end line and the second from Ciara Laverty who tried for a point with her shot dropping just below the cross bar. However Ballycastle never gave up and finished the game with the last two scores both coming from Caoimhe Wright.

McQuillan’s Ballycastle

Aoife McGowan, Niamh Ann Donnelly, Catherine McShane, Bronagh McCaughan, Kathryn Donnelly, Niamh Donnelly (1-0f), Enya McShane, Cliodhna Donnelly, Emma Laverty, Tara O’Neill, Caoimhe Wright (0-4 3f), Aine Donnelly (0-2), Nuala Devlin, Niamh O’Neill (0-1), Riana McBride Subs; Meabh O’Neill for Kathryn Donnelly (HT), Aoife Toner for Niamh O’Neill (44mins), Maria Bakewell for Cliodhna Donnelly (44mins) and Caitlin Hegarty for Aine Donnelly (50mins)

Loughgiel Shamrocks

Megan Coyle, Megan McGarry, Chloe Higgins, Clare McKillop, Emma McFadden, Maeve Connolly, Shauna Devlin, Amy Boyle, Lucia McNaughton (0-1), Roisin McCormick (4-6 2-1f), Emma McMullan, Katie Lynn (0-2), Caitrin Dobbin (2-3), Christine Laverty (1-2), Anna Connolly Subs; Katie McKillop for Emma McFadden (46mins), Ciara Laverty (1-0) for Anna Connolly (46mins), Ciara Boyle for Shauna Devlin (51mins) and Orlagh Laverty for Christine Laverty (51mins)

This week’s senior camogie fixtures

Tuesday 28th July
SENIOR: DIVISION 1 LEAGUE
Cushendall v Dunloy
Ballycastle v Loughgiel

Wedensday 29th July
SENIOR: DIVISION 2 LEAGUE
Group 2
Cargin v Loughgiel

Thursday 30th July
SENIOR: DIVISION 2 LEAGUE
Group 1
Brídíní Óga v Dunloy 2
Ahoghill v Rossa

Group 2
Ballycastle 2 v Tír na nÓg

SENIOR: DIVISION 3A LEAGUE
Group 1
Rasharkin v Creggan
Group 2
Loughgiel v Armoy

SENIOR: DIVISION 3B LEAGUE
Thursday 30th July
Naomh Éanna v St Paul’s-Loch Mór
Gort na Móna v Davitt’s
Sarsfield’s v St John’s

Camogie round-up

A couple of shocks in Division 2 while Sarsfields win in Division 3

There were surprises in the opening games of the Division 2 camogie league with the county finalists of the last three seasons both suffering defeats.

Loughgiel 0-8 McQuillan’s 2-4

McQuillan’s camogs held out on a barrage of shots from Loughgiel’s attack on Wednesday evening to see out the game with a 2point margin to secure the points in this first league match of the season. Goal keeper Aoife McGowan made a point blank save from Ciara Laverty as she looked certain to steal victory for the home team, with the resulting save ending up over the end line giving Loughgiel another chance to go for goal , however the Ballycastle defence led ably by both Orla Donnellys and Enya McShane held tight to ensure their win.

The game started with the Shamrock’s Louise McKillop putting them 3 points clear and they looked to be taking control with McQuillan’s struggling to get the ball delivered into their forward line. A great passage of play by Emer O Neill and Fay McIntosh resulted in Emma Connor getting her first touch of the ball which she promptly delivered to the back of the Loughgiel net, signalling her return to Senior Camogie. This was then followed by a Niamh O Neill point from play to put the visitors one ahead for the first time, followed swiftly by Ciara Laverty who was superb running from midfield to level the game. Emma Connor added another point and Orlagh Laverty seized her opportunity to tie the scored just before halftime.

The second half started with a great delivery from Caitlin Heggarty placing the ball in front of the industrious Niamh O Neill who pulled the ball beyond Eimear Boyle who had been solid in the Loughgiel net. Katy Lynn and Finvola McVeigh kept the pressure on delivering ball into their attack with Maedhbh McCormick scoring the first of her two points to keep the home team in touch whilst Niamh O Neill and Clare Scullion pointed for the Town to open the gap back up to three. Loughgiel again pushed forward with Ciara Laverty sending over a fine score to leave two between the teams. This was a hotly contested game with superb team play from both squads.

Rossa 2-14 Brídíní Óga 3-1

Things just weren’t as close in Rossa Park with the home side scoring their first win over visiting Brídíní Óga in three seasons – and that despite Oonagh Ward opening the scoring with a Glenravel goal.

Mairiosa McGourty goaled twice for Rossa and they were in control until a late goal from Aimee Traynor saw the half-time score at 2-6 to 1-1.

Natalie McGuinness and McGourty caused the visitors’ plenty of trouble and they responded to a goal from Torie Edgar with a series of points to run out 2-14 to 3-1 winners – seven of the points scored by McGuinness from play.

Tír na nÓg 5-20 Cargin 0-7

Tír na nÓg opened their campaign with a comfortable 5-20 to 0-7 win over Cargin whose main scorer once again was Katie McAnenly, although her sister Maura was much busier in goals for the Toome side.

Áine Devlin top-scored with 1-10, 1-5 from play with Michaela Hegarty contributing 2-4 on her return to action.

Dunloy 5-7 Ahoghill 0-10

On Tuesday evening Nicole O’Neill scored 1-12 for Dunloy seniors in Division One. On Thursday her sister Orlagh top-scored for the Division Two team in a 5-7 to 0-10 win over newly-promoted Ahoghill. Orlagh scored two goals and a point in each half.

Dunloy led at the break by 3-4 to 0-5 with Clare McGuckian, Fiona Hills and Brid Magill all strong defensively. Caitriona Graham (0-5) and Noreen Graham (0-3) were the main scorers for the Cloney girls

Antrim Senior Camogie League – Division 3B

Sarfields 8-10 Naomh Eanna 2-8

Following four months of inactivity due to lockdown, anticipation was high at the Bear Pit on Thursday evening as Sarsfields welcomed Naomh Eanna camogs for the first senior Camogie game of the year. A fine evening and a perfect playing surface set the scene for what followed.

A very evenly contested first quarter saw both teams battle to gain control and no sooner had one team scored than the other went up the field and replied, but a late Naomh Eanna goal saw Sarsfields go in to the break with a narrow one point lead.

Sarsfields made a number of changes of half time, bringing on several of their younger players to replace tired legs and keep the intensity of the game flowing. The second period started in the same vein as the first with both teams battling for every ball an no quarter ask, or given. However the home side started to get on top and a couple of quick goals from team captain Laura Ferris put a bit of daylight between the teams which Naomh Eanna struggled to claw back and with the Under 20 members on the team contributing greatly Sarsfield pushed on to victory.

This week the girls are at home again when they host St John’s

O’Neill pulls the strings as Dunloy start off with a win

Antrim Camogie League Division 1

Dunloy 2-17 Ballycastle 3-7

A magnificent scoring display by centre forward Nicole O’Neill helped guide Dunloy to victory over Ballycastle in Tuesday evening’s All County Camogie League opener at Pearse Park Dunloy. The Cuchulains number 11 was in superb form, ending with a personal total of 1-12, her accuracy for frees and from play right out to the top drawer. In the end the home team had five to spare, but that might paint a somewhat distorted picture, for Ballycastle fought their way back into the game on a couple of occasion and with just two minutes of normal time left to play, had cut the gap back to just two points. However the Dunloy defence held out in those final minutes as the visitors searched for the goal that would get them victory, and three late points by O’Neill eased them home with five to spare.

Spot the ball? Player of the match Nicole O’Neill loses sight of the ball as it spins onto her helmet, but it has to be said it was the only ball she missed all night as she scored 1-12 to steer her team to victory

After withstanding early Dunloy pressure Ballycatle went ahead in the third minute with a point from Caoimhe Wright but the home side came back with four on the trot from Nicole O’Neill (2), Michaella Elliott and Erin Elliott to lead by three after eight minutes.

Maeve Kelly pulled a point back with a great individual score on nine minutes but Dunloy were on top and they added points in the 11th, 12th and 13th minutes to lead 0-7 to 0-2 by the first water break. That break appeared to aid the Ballycastle girls more than the home side for the had the better of things during that second quarter and boosted by a great solo goal by Maeve Kelly, who was moved in to the edge of the ‘square’ because of an injured knee, the fought back to trail by just two at the break. (0-10 to 1-5)

Ballycastle full-back Catherine McShane solos out of defence

Just as in the opening half Dunloy sprang for the traps as they added 2-3 to their tally, to stretch their lead to ten, the goals coming from Michaela Elliott and O’Neill. Ballycastle looked like they were in for a bad beating, but they again showed great character and a goal from a twenty metre free my Maeve Kelly and a fine individual effort by Nuala Devlin, closed the gap to four. O’Neill steadied the ship with a pointed free with eight minutes to go, but back came Ballycastle and two pointed frees from Caoimhe Wright and one from play by Naimh Donnelly left just two between the side. There were a couple of half chances for the visitors to get something out of the game but the Cuchullains rear-guard held firm and O’Neill stepped up to the mark again with three pointed frees to ease her team to a well-deserved win.

Dunloy’s Katie Laverty in action

Dunloy scorers Nicole O’Neill 1-12, Michaelle Elliott 1-2, Erin Elliott 0-2, Aine Magill 0-1

Ballycastle scorers – Maeve Kelly 2-2, Caoimhe Wright

 0-5, Nuala Devlin 1-0, Naimh Donnelly 0-2

Referee – Ciaran McCloskey (Loughgiel)