Antrim outgun Tyrone to make history

LGFA Ulster Intermediate final

Antrim 2-18 Tyrone 1-13 

Underdogs Antrim produced a splendid performance to outgun a fancied Tyrone in this excellent Intermediate final at Owenbeg on Sunday.

Tyrone went into this final as strong favourites following a recent win over last year’s Junior Champions but the Saffrons paid scant reward to their underdog tag as they set about taking down their opponents.

Led by the splendid Orlaith Prenter who was to finish the game with 1-8, including a second half penalty, Antrim at times cut through the red hand defence and looked sharp on the ball and the finishing of Prenter was a benchmark of their success. 

The sides were level on five occasions in the first half but in the final minutes of the half Antrim pulled away to lead at the break by four at the break.

 Antrim never looked back after that taking control through a Theresa Mellon goal on the restart and always looked comfortable. 

Maria Canavan had opened the days scoring with a well taken point but Lara Danhunsi, Prenter and Maria O’Neill replied with points for the Saffrons while goalkeeper Anna McCann denied Emma Jane Gervin who looked to be in for a goal after a good Canavan pass. 

In a good spell for Tyrone they showed what they were capable of as Grainne Rafferty, Aoife Mc Gahan 0-2 and Canavan hit points and they looked well capable of pushing on yet Prenter kept Antrim on top.

Grannie McLaughlin added points to push Antrim ahead and despite a Rafferty equaliser there was a strong finish from the Antrim girls. 

Prenter dropped over three points and O’Neill could have goaled but tapped over a point as they led well.  

Antrim started the second half as they finished the first as they hit a quick 1-3 to lead 1-13 to 0-6 with eight second half minutes played. Mellon was on hand to slam home the goal while captain Cathy Carey, Mellon and Prenter added the points. 

Credit to Tyrone they came fighting back, scoring five points without reply through Canavan, Slaine McCarroll and three points from the impressive Rafferty to close the gap to five.

Antrim responded and were awarded a penalty which Orlath Prenter dispatched the goal after winning the spot kick herself and it was as good as over.

The Saffrons finished on the front foot and Prenter added further points with Aoife Horisk on target for Tyrone.

Lara Dahuntsi and Sasha Byrne exchanged points with Maria O’Neill and Dahuntsi keeping the scoreboard ticking over before Horisk scored a consolation goal for the Red Hands. 

Antrim were excellent throughout while only on occasions did Tyrone carry a threat and there were scenes of joy at the final whistle as Antrim celebrated this excellent win

Antrim scorers: Orlaith Prenter 1-8, Theresa Mellon 1-1, Maria O’Neill 0-4, Lara Dahuntsi 0-2, Grainne Mc Laughlin 0-2, Cathy Carey 0-1 

Tyrone scorers: Grainne Rafferty 0-5 Aoife Horisk 1-1, Maria Canavan 0-3, Aoife Mc Gahan 0-2, Slaine Mc Carroll 0-1, Sasha Byrne 0-1 

Antrim: A McCann; D Coleman, A Keenan, E Ferran; O Corr, C Brown, S O’Neill; A Mulholland, A Tubridy; T Mellon (1-2), C Carey (capt)(0-1), L Dahunsi (0-3); G McLaughlin (0-2), O Prenter (1-8, 1-0 pen, 0-1f), M O’Neill (0-2)

Subs: G McLaughlin for Corr (40), C McKenna for Mellon (54), C Taggart for McLaughlin (58), L Agnew for M O’Neill (60)

Tyrone: S McVey; M Corrigan, C Magee, E Quinn; J Lyon’s, C Campbell, E Hegarty; EJ Gervinho, A McHugh (capt); A Horisk (1-1), G Rafferty (0-05, 0-2f), S Byrne (0-1); M Canavan (0-3), N Hughes, A McGahan (0-2)

Subs: S McCarroll (0-1) for J Lyons (35), E Loane for Canavan (28), N McElduff for Hegarty (52), J Barrett for Quinn (54)

Referee: Philip Conway (Armagh)

Antrim claim Ulster Silver title

Ulster U16 Silver LGFA Final

Antrim 2-13

Down 3-8

Antrim U16 girls came out on top in a dramatic Ulster final in Augher. 

The Saffs started well knocking over two early scores from Leah Stewart and Erin Stewart to settle their nerves. A couple of nervy errors then allowed Down forwards to answer with a goal and a point of their own. Antrim continued to have most of the play and ended the first half with a stunning goal from Aoibhean Monaghan nestling the ball into the top corner. 

Antrim led 1-7 to 1-4 at the halfway mark. 

After the break a number of missed opportunities ended with Katie McCloskey scoring the opening goal of the half. The Saffron girls continued to knock over points with Erin Stewart deadly from frees, but the Mourne side continued to chip away at the Antrim lead. With the score at 2-9 to 1-6 Hannah Donaghy received a surprising yellow card that unsettled the Saffron squad and allowed Down to close the score to 2-10 to 1-7. However, the introduction of some subs for the injured Seana Bradley and Orla Neeson helped them regain their composure. Despite a frantic few minutes the Antrim girls came out deserved winners with a score of 2-13 to 3-8.


Leah Stewart 0-1

Erin Stewart 0-7

Anna McGarry 0-1

Aoibhean Monaghan 0-2

Katie McCloskey 0-1

Keela McAllister 0-1

The Antrim girls now face Connacht champions in an all-Ireland semi-final in July.

Goals galore as Glenavy win by a point

LGFA U14 Football League

Glenavy 6-7 All Saints 6-6

St. Joseph’s Glenavy staged the comeback of all comebacks in this goal-fest at Chapel Hill to pip an excellent All Saints Ballymena in the U14 football league in a game that had everything good about Gaelic Football.

The Ballymena girls totally dominated the opening half and looked to have things wrapped up at the halfway stage when they led 4-5 to 0-4 at the break with Glenavy keeper, Sian McNamara pulling off a couple of excellent saves to prevent the deficit from being even greater.

In the proverbial game of two-halves it was the team in black and orange that came strong in the second half with a Jessica Hotchkiss point with virtually the last kick of the game snatching victory for the home side.

It was All Saints who dominated the opening half with Meabh O’Kane, Caitlin Kelly (2-0) and Kara Dillon rattling the Glenavy net and Dillon, O’Kane and Kelly sharing the visitor’s points.

Glenavy looked off the pace during the opening thirty minutes but Niamh McDowell, Aoibhe O’Hare (0-2) and Orla Nelson got their names on the score-sheet while Sian McNamara’s excellent save would prove vital in the end.

Still it all seemed pointless (if you’ll forgive the pun) when Aimee Watt fired home All Saints’ fifth goal on the restart but the St. Joseph’s girls picked themselves up of the floor and a goal from Orla Nelson brought them to life.

It still looked a long way back as Watt added a point before Caitlin Kelly fired home All Saints sixth goal but the home side refused to give up despite facing what looked like impossible odds.

Summer McCallin began the comeback as she hit 2-1 in quick succession and as the visiting defence came under increasing pressure, Aoibhe O’Hare found a way through for another goal and suddenly the complexion of the game had changed dramatically.

The visitors would not score again as Jessica Hotchkiss added two more goals for the Chapel Hill side and an Aoibh O’Hare’s point tied the contest and we looked to be heading for a draw.

There was one last moment of drama left in this enthralling contest however and Jessica Hotchkiss became the Glenavy hero as she fired over the winning point with virtually the last kick of the game.

A very entertaining game of football and in the end it was a shame there had to be a loser. Despite conceding 6 goals each, both keepers played their parts and both Sian McNamara for Glenavy and All Saints Freya McGreevey brought off excellent saves over the hour.

Glenavy: 1 Sian McNamara, 2 Sophie O’Sullivan, 3 Katie Grant, 4 Nellie Ryder, 5 Kiera Duffy, 6 Meabh Culliton, 7 Martha Denny, 9 Emma Rice, 10 Orla Nelson, 11 Tiama Paton, 12 Niamh McDowell, 13 Katie Smith, 14 Aoibh O’Hare, 15 Summer McCallin, 17 Jessica Hotchkiss

All Saints: 1 Freya McGreevey, 2 Leigha McCaughren, 3 Neveah Dowds, 4 Maeve Hendron, 5 Aoife MacRory, 6 Ursula O’Loan, 7 Abi Innes, 8 Meabh O’Kane, 9 Kara Dillon, 11 Caitlin Kelly, 12 Lyia Brady MacRory, 13 Mya Miskella, 14 Natalia Wojewoda, 15 Ruby Hendron, 16 Aimee Watt, 17 Cassie McErlean,

Antrim strike Gold against Armagh


Antrim 4-15 Armagh 4-8

Antrim minors finished their Ulster Championship league campaign with a strong performance and a win against Armagh. The victory qualifies the girls to contest the Ulster Gold Final against Cavan.

The scoreline of 4.15 to 4.8 tells a story of an open attacking game by both teams. Antrim dominated from the start, moving into a 2.3 to no score lead in the early minutes. Antrim goals coming from Hannah Donnaghy and Ciara Maguire (penalty) and points from Luisne Adams (2) and Erin Stewart (1).

Armagh began to settle and got the scoreboard moving. The first half finished with Antrim holding a 10 point lead, 2.7 to 0.3.

Armagh’s second half performance was much better and put the Saffron girls under more pressure, but both teams kept the scoreboard moving. Antrim scored a further 2.8 in the second half but Armagh registered 4.5.

Antrim will have to tighten up in their defence for the Cavan final but their overall team performance gave them a deserved victory.

Antrim had strong performances all over the park. The defence was well martialled by    Sophia Erskine, captain Sarah O Neill and Hannah Donaghey. Antrim’s midfielders Aoife Kelly and Aileen McDonnel were always the dominant pair. Aoife Kelly cemented a very strong performance by registering a few points.

Antrim’s forward line was on form   with all registering scores. The second half Antrim goal scorers were Leah Stewart and Cliodhna Logan. 

Aldergrove off to a winning start in emotional night in Crumlin

LGFA Division 1

St. James’ Aldergrove 2-11  Gort na Mona 1-7

The wife and sister of Darren O’Neill R.I.P., former manager of St. James’ Aldergrove promotion winning team were joined by their club chairman as they led the Aldergrove team onto the field in Crumlin last night for their first game in division 1

The Aldergrove Senior football team joined with the visiting team from Gort na Mona and spectators to observe an impeccable minutes silence before the game for the man who did so much to promote ladies football in Crumlin.

The former manager would surely have smiled down from his heavenly home as his former charges produced a sterling second half performance to overcome a strong challenge from a Gort na Mona side who looked to be well in contention at the halfway stage with the scores tied at 0-8 to 1-5.

Orla Rooney and Caitlin Taggart pointed Aldergrove into an early lead but the visitors hit back through a Ciara Maguire goal before their keeper Orlaith Lennon pulled off one of several good saves she was to make over the hour.

Aldergrove returned to the offensive and Rooney added two more to her total and Aoife Taggart got her first of the night to move the Crumlin girls two ahead before Ciara Maguire replied with a point at the other end to keep her side in touch.

An Aoife Taggart point for St. James’ brought a quick reply from the visitors through Gabrielle Monaghan and Jordan McCullough before Colleen McGuinness produced a lung bursting run for the point of the half for the home side.

The visitors had the better of the closing stages of the half however as Duailtin Ni Cathaill hit two fine points in reply to one from an Aoife Taggart free to leave it all square as the half time whistle sounded.

HT 0-8 TO 1-5

We looked set for a cliff hanger as the second half got underway as Aoife Taggart for the home side and Stacey Meighan for Gort na Mona exchanged further points but it was the Crumlin side who stepped up their intensity to take control.

Substitute Katie McArt fired to the Gort na Mona net with virtually her first touch of the ball and when Paula Masterson fired past Orlaith Lennon from the penalty spot there would be no way back for the visitors from Turf Lodge.

Aoife Taggart converted a free and added another from play as St. James dominated the closing stages with Ciara Maguire replying with a consolation point for a Gort na Mona team who battled well but were forced to concede to the better team on the night.

Aldergrove: 1 Lucy Simpson, 2 Caoimhe Bell, 3 Anna Crossan, 4 Bronach Mallon, 5 Aine Kelly, 6 Paula Masterson, 7 Rebecca Marquess, 8 Colleen McGuinness, 9 Katierose Bell, 10 Orla Rooney, 11 Caitlin Taggart, 12 Clare Hanna, 13 Aoife Taggart, 14 Anna McBride, 15 Emma McArt. Subs: 16 Katie McArt, 17 Nicole Jones, 18 Eimear Jones, 19 Niamh Hanna, 20 Mia Dunlop, 21 Roisin Crossan, 22 Alanah McMaster, 25 Niamh Agus, 27 Riona Muldoon, 29 Erin Kane, 30 Grace O’Neill

Gort na Mona: Orlaith Lennon, 2 Emily Kearns, 3 Carla Scannell, 4 Katie Irvine, 5 Tiernagh Elley, 6 Eimear Ni Lonnrachtaig, 7 Mia Gregory, 8 Jeyda Rooney, 9 Aoibhin Enright, 10 Gabrielle Monaghan, 11 Anna McCann, 12 Duailtin Ni Cathail, 13 Jordan McCullough, 14 Ciara Maguire, 15 Chloe Lennon. Subs: 16 Casey Meighan, 17 Niamh NicLonnrachtaigh