Return of the Antrim & Dublin Friendship Games 2022

Cumann na mBunscol Aontroma were delighted to welcome the return of the Antrim vs. Dublin Friendship Games today, following a 3-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

This is a once in a lifetime experience for these children, who travelled to St. Patrick’s Drumcondra on Monday to compete with their Dublin counterparts across all codes followed by a guided tour of Croke Park, which really capped off a day to remember for our future county stars.

This year’s event was extra special with the county moving from what was a traditional Belfast Only XV to an All-County XV, enabling players from Belfast, North Antrim and South-West Antrim to represent their county together in Gaelic Football (Boys & Girls), Hurling,

The north and south west Antrim schools met at St Brigid’s PS in Ballymena beofre meeting up with their Befast counterparts in Belfast on route to Croke Park

McLaren wins Ulster U16 Poc Fada title

Sean Og McLaren of St Paul’s won the Under 16 Ulster Poc Fada at Glenarm on Tuesday evening, just edging out Shea Pucci of Ballygalget and Down by 21 meters to take the crown. On a beautiful Mid Summer’s evening on Gowkstown Hill, Feystown, the 14 years year old turned in a remarkable achievement for Sean Og, who won his Antrim title at the same venue three weeks ago. Both players took 28 strokes to complete the course, which is just three more than the senior winners, but Sean Og won by just 21 metres.

The senior men’s title went to Pearce Smyth of Portaferry, Co Down who beat Cormac Gough of Ballinascreen on count back after both finished on 25 pocs, while Rossa’s Philip Creen of Rossa was just a stroke back on 26. Philp stepped in to represent Antrim after finishing second in the Antrim final, behind winner Donal McKernan of Sarsfields, who was ruled out through injury. Great disappointment of Donal after he completed the course in 23 pocs to win the Antrim title 3 weeks ago.

The Ladies title went to Catherine Muldoon of Eglish, Co. Tyrone who completed the course in 36 pocs to beat Ciara Devlin of Armagh and Laura Bambrick of Cavan who took 37. Cushendall’s Sarah Kane finished in 5th place.

Tierna Kelly of Ballinascreen, Co. Derry won the Under 16 Girls section with 38 pocs, just ahead of Naoise Hughes of Armagh, who also took 38. Dunloy’s Mary McArthur was two pocs further back on 40 to take fourth place.  

A big shout out to the host club Glenarm who once again did a great job in organising the event. Tuesday evening’s event attracted the biggest crowd ever to this venue and thanks to the great work by the Shane O’Neill’s club everything ran like clockork

Competitors and spectators bow their head for a minute’s silence in memory of Tyrone great Damian Casey who tragically passed away last weekend.

Ruairi Ogs raise funds for double Feile trip

On the weekend of the 4th of June, players, parents, and members of Ruairí Óg CLG came together with the local community to help raise vital funds for their up-and-coming participation in the National Feilé na nGael on the 25th of June 2022. This is a momentous occasion for the Club because for the first time ever, both the Camogie and Hurling U15 teams, who having won their respective Division 1 Antrim Feile competitions this year, will now represent Antrim in the National Feilé in Meath.

The weekend kicked off with a hugely successful Golf Day in Cushendall Golf Club. This was then followed by a fundraising day held in Páirc Mhuire, home of Ruairí Óg CLG, on Sunday 5th June where the day began with a Coffee Morning and Bacon Baps which was supported by everyone in the community. Antrim U16 Camogs travelled down to play our Club U16s and very graciously joined us after for some refreshments and a chat. This was then followed by Ruairí Óg V St Johns in the Senior Hurling League and we thank them for joining us on this important day. A BBQ and treats from the shop keep the supporters smiling while the clash of the ash echoed in the glorious sunshine. At the half time interval, the two teams were led onto the field by Club Legend ‘Wee’ John McKillop who displayed his club colours with great pride. The two teams were then introduced to everyone in attendance. Throughout the day, the anticipation of the forth coming All Ireland experience upon which our young Gaels are about to embark created a great ambience and buzz both around the pitch and in the pavilion.

We want to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors so far and thank everyone for their help in supporting these two great teams.

The camogie team will travel to Kiltale under the guidance of their management team: Naomi McCurry, Christine McAlister and Gary McNeill. The hurlers will only be a small distance away in Kildalkey guided by their mentors: Ciaran (Gazza) McCambridge, Connor (Monty) McCambridge and Kevin McNaughton. Both competitions will commence at 11.00 am and we hope as many people as possible will travel to support our young Ruairís and their mentors on this historic occasion.  Ádh mór orthu!

Ruairi Óg U15 Hurling TeamRuairi Óg U15 Camogie Team
Alex McCambridgeCliodhna Thompson
Aodhan CampbellEmma Mitchell
Cahir McCambridgeMaeve McAlister
Callagh Mooney |(Capt)Laoise McCollam
Calum QuinnErin McNaughton
Caodhán ScullionLaura Black (Capt)
Charlie McAllisterNaoise McDonnell
Conor McCannRhianna Black
Dáire HigginsEva McNeill
Diarmuid McManusEilish Emerson
Dylan McNaughtonKady McNeill (Capt)
Fintan McKillopMaeve Graham
Fiontan BradleyAmy McAlister
Jack O’ReillyNiamh McNeill
Liam McGheeErin Mae Mitchell
Nicholas McLaughlinTamara Black
Oran McCambridgeNiamh McCollam
Paddy MorganScarlett Kerr McKillop
Ryan McAuleyAibrean Campbell
Sean Pol McNaughtonMia McKeegan
Shane CoulterCara McNaughton
Shane McQuillanAimee McAuley
Shann McKeeganKeira Hill
Thomas McLaughlinSarah Black
 Aimee Hill

Antrim Camogs on course for Junior semi-final

Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Premier Junior championship

Group One

Down 0-8 Antrim 3-13

ANTRIM look to be on course for a place in the semi-finals of the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Premier Junior championship after picking up their second victory of the campaign in Attical on Saturday.

They and Armagh are the only two unbeaten teams in the group and they meet at an Antrim venue on June 25th

On Saturday Antrim got an early boost with goals in the 6th and 10th minutes from Ellen Leech and played some excellent camogie as a team to go in at the break with a comfortable lead of 2-7 to 0-5.

Leech completed her hat-trick in the second half becoming the second Cushendall player in successive games to hit the net three times for Antrim. The other was Dervla Cosgrove against Roscommon and Cosgrove kept the score-board ticking over with frees through this game as well.

Others to impress for the Saffrons were Caitlin Crawford on her debut in defence, Megan McGarry and Emma Laverty.

It was a sound performance from the Saffrons considering that they were missing a players due to injury and exams and travelled with just 18 players.

Meanwhile in Armagh, the home side ran up their third successive huge total in beating Roscommon by 4-26 to 1-5. They have played a game more than Antrim and will top the group with a draw or better against the Saffrons.

Antrim will have one more game in the group after June 25th, another home game against Limerick. That is on July 2nd and is likely to be a double-header with the senior teams from the same counties 

Antrim: Ellen Leech 3-1, Dervla Cosgrove 0-6, Caoimhe McNaughton 0-3, Orlagh Laverty 0-1, Bríd Magill 0-1, Anna McNeill 0-1.

Down: Katie McGilligan 0-5, Aoife Murphy 0-1, Megan Sloan 0-1, Gerra McGrattan 0-1.

Antrim : Áine Graham, Enya McShane, Éilís Kearns, Megan McGarry, Maria McLarnon capt., Sinéad Cosgrove, Cáitlín Crawford, Emma Laverty, Claire Kearney, Caoimhe McNaughton, Bríd Magill, Orlagh laverty, Anna McNeill, Ellen Leech, Dervla Cosgrove.

Subs: Brónach Magill, Lisa McGuckian, Orla Donnelly

First defeat but Antrim can take a lot from Kilkenny result

Glen Dimplex All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship

Antrim 1-9 Kilkenny 1-15

ANTRIM got their first real test of playing a top three team in the Glen Complex senior championship in Dunloy on Saturday and they came out of the game feeling that they could maybe have pushed Kilkenny that little bit closer.

However the 2020 All-Ireland champions showed their experience in continuing to pull away after corner forward Mary O’Connell picked up a red card in the 40th minute for a tackle on Antrim goalie Catriona Graham.

Kilkenny’s Grace Walsh in action against Antrim’s Caoimhe Wright

It was a tough, hard fought game and the challenge from O’Connell didn’t look out of place. In fact play continued until an umpire drew referee Barry Nea’s attention to the incident. At 1-10 to 1-6 the Saffrons had a chance.

But after eight more minutes of play, Katie Power floated over her second point, and despite a free from Róisín McCormick in reply, Kilkenny hit three further points and had sealed the result by the 55th minute.

Antrim were under the cosh for the first quarter. They conceded a point through a free from Denise Gaule within a minute and then Miriam Walsh barged her way in from the right corner for a fourth minute goal. It was looking ominous for the home side.

Antrim full back Niamh Cosgrove in action against Kilkenny in Dunloy

Points from Róisín McCormick and Caitrin Dobbin came before six minutes were up, but Kilkenny continued to make the running and three points in a row, two for Aoife Prendergast and a super score from Julieanne Malone opened the gap to 1-6 to 0-2 in the 15th minute.

Antrim were playing Amy Boyle as a sweeper in front of the full-back line and McCormick and Dobbin as the only players inside their opponents’ 45 metre line. In the second quarter space seemed to open up for the front pair, despite the presence of a third defender, and they made it count.

McCormick and Katie Power swopped points before a pass over the top from Lucia McNaughton put Dobbin in the clear and she pulled clear of the chasing defenders before firing to the net.

That goal came in the 21st minute and she and McCormick added points over the next four minutes to close the gap to two points. That was how it remained until the break, 1-7 to 1-5.

For the second half Kilkenny were a lot more compact at the back and, despite a quite brilliant Dobbin point from out on the side-line, they pushed on to lead by four points with the half-forward line in particular really impressive.

Antrim’s Aine Magill in action during her team’s clash with Kilkenny at Pearse Park, Dunloy

The home side didn’t really take advantage of the extra player with a number of passes out of defence and from midfield going astray while forwards in possession simply couldn’t create openings for shots.

This game was a real test for the Saffrons and they came through it with great credit, although it will undoubtedly form part of the learning curve they must ascend before they can really challenge at the top.

Amy Boyle was superb in defence while the half-backs kept Kilkenny’s forwards under a lot of pressure. The pace of McCormick, Dobbin and Caoimhe Wright created some openings, but the experienced Kilkenny defenders were able to close the space after the break and that allowed Denise Gaule, Julieanne Malone and full-forward Miriam Walsh to keep pressure on on the home defence.

Antrim now have Galway coming to Dunloy on June 25th while Kilkenny, assured now of a spot in the knock-out series, have a home tie against Offaly.

Kilkenny’s M O’Connell in action against Antrim’s Maria Lynn.

Antrim: C Graham, C Drain, N Donnelly, M Lynn, C Patterson, C Conlon, K Laverty, L McNaughton capt, N O’Neill, S McKillop, M Laverty, A Boyle, C Wright 0-1, R McCormack 0-5 (4 frees), C Dobbin 1-2.

Subs: Á Magill 0-1 for C Wright (46), NA Donnelly for N Donnelly (58), C Laverty for S McKillop (58).

Kilkenny: A Norris, M Teehan, G Walsh, T Fitzgerald, A Prendergast 0-2, Claire Phelan, S Fitzgerald, L Murphy 0-1, N Deely, M Walsh 1-2, J Malone 0-3, D Gaule 0-5 (frees), M O’Connell, K Nolan, K Power 0-2.

Subs: M Bambrick for T Fitzgerlad (HT), S Crowley for A Prendergast (46), L Fennelly for K Nolan (54)

Referee: Barry Nea (Westmeath)