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Antrim retain Minor B all-Ireland title!

29 Apr 2018

Report By Seamas McAleenan . 

An injury time goal from the brilliant Roisin McCormick saw Antrim snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in today’s All Ireland B Camogie final in Drogheda. Much has been written about the brilliant Loughgiel teenager who keeps producing player of the match performances time after time. However her display today will rate among her greatest feats as she scored no less than 3-9 in a truly magnificent display. She was all over the field as Antrim were pused to the pin of their collars by and excellent Westmeath team, but each time when troubled loomed for the Saffrons McCormick answered the call in spectacular fashion.                                                                                                                     When you concede a goal in the 61st minute to go two points down, and are already a player down following a red card, you need your most dangerous player on the ball near the opposition goal. That didn’t happen for the next Antrim poc out as McCormick had gone to the midfield area in an attempt to win possession. In the confusion Maeve Kelly won the ball and played it cross field to Charley McCarry whose lay-off to Ciara Laverty was over-cooked.

However with the sliotar held up on the ground just to the left of the Westmeath goals, McCormick had enough time to get up to the ruck, and win possession before taking a circular run and unleashing a bullet to the Westmeath net. Game over and Antrim had retained their All-Ireland title by a single point margin! The Loughgiel ace finished with 3-9 and was un-markable at times, even during the first quarter when her team was well under the cosh from a hungry Westmeath team for whom Shiela McGrath and Hannah Core started with determination as they added four points in the opening six minutes.

McCormick pointed two frees – the first a penalty – to settle the Saffrons before Ellen Hynds played her a ball on the right wing in the 10th minute. She took on the defence single-handedly and buried a goal. Amy Boyle’s switch on to Shiela McGrath helped to calm the game down as Antrim went 1-6 to 0-6 up, before three late points from the Westmeath girls levelled matters at the break.


McGrath and McCormick swopped frees on the re-start before a point from Ciara Laverty was followed by another solo goal from Roisin McCormick in the 37th minute. She added two frees and Antrim had pulled six clear by the 43rd minute. Westmeath had already taken Core out to midfield and pushed McGrath to full-forward to get a foothold in a game that looked to be slipping from them. Then suddenly things changed for the Leinster girls. Antrim full-back Eilish Kearns fouled McGrath on the way through and picked up her second yellow card. To rub salt into the wound, Megan Dowdall took the free and found the net.

Antrim were in trouble! McCormick relieved some pressure with two frees, although Westmeath goalie Niamh O’Mahoney brought off a great double save to deny firstly Maura Downey and then Ciara Laverty what would have been much needed Antrim goals. But McGrath pointed a free for Westmeath, Dowdall burst through for a goal and then added a point to tie the scores at 2-12 each.

All-Ireland Minor B Camogie final

Antrim 3-13 Westmeath 3-12

By Seamus McAleenan

An injury time goal from the brilliant Roisin McCormick saw Antrim snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in today’s All Ireland B Camogie final in Drogheda. Much has been written about the brilliant Loughgiel teenager who keeps producing player of the match performances time after time. However her display today will rate among her greatest feats as she scored no less than 3-9 in a truly magnificent display. She was all over the field as Antrim were pused to the pin of their collars by and excellent Westmeath team, but each time when troubled loomed for the Saffrons McCormick answered the call in spectacular fashion.                                                                                                                     When you concede a goal in the 61st minute to go two points down, and are already a player down following a red card, you need your most dangerous player on the ball near the opposition goal. That didn’t happen for the next Antrim poc out as McCormick had gone to the midfield area in an attempt to win possession. In the confusion Maeve Kelly won the ball and played it cross field to Charley McCarry whose lay-off to Ciara Laverty was over-cooked.

However with the sliotar held up on the ground just to the left of the Westmeath goals, McCormick had enough time to get up to the ruck, and win possession before taking a circular run and unleashing a bullet to the Westmeath net. Game over and Antrim had retained their All-Ireland title by a single point margin! The Loughgiel ace finished with 3-9 and was un-markable at times, even during the first quarter when her team was well under the cosh from a hungry Westmeath team for whom Shiela McGrath and Hannah Core started with determination as they added four points in the opening six minutes.

McCormick pointed two frees – the first a penalty – to settle the Saffrons before Ellen Hynds played her a ball on the right wing in the 10th minute. She took on the defence single-handedly and buried a goal. Amy Boyle’s switch on to Shiela McGrath helped to calm the game down as Antrim went 1-6 to 0-6 up, before three late points from the Westmeath girls levelled matters at the break.1Antrim captain Ellen Hynds holds the All Ireland trophy aloft. Pic by Dylan McIlwaine

McGrath and McCormick swopped frees on the re-start before a point from Ciara Laverty was followed by another solo goal from Roisin McCormick in the 37th minute. She added two frees and Antrim had pulled six clear by the 43rd minute. Westmeath had already taken Core out to midfield and pushed McGrath to full-forward to get a foothold in a game that looked to be slipping from them. Then suddenly things changed for the Leinster girls. Antrim full-back Eilish Kearns fouled McGrath on the way through and picked up her second yellow card. To rub salt into the wound, Megan Dowdall took the free and found the net.

Antrim were in trouble! McCormick relieved some pressure with two frees, although Westmeath goalie Niamh O’Mahoney brought off a great double save to deny firstly Maura Downey and then Ciara Laverty what would have been much needed Antrim goals. But McGrath pointed a free for Westmeath, Dowdall burst through for a goal and then added a point to tie the scores at 2-12 each.

Maeve Kelly then hit a monster point from a free just inside her own half to put Antrim ahead right on the 60th minute. But Antrim had pushed forward expecting it to drop short and were caught out by the quick poc-out that created the extra player in Olivia Glynn who drew the defender and passed inside for Sheila McGrath who found the Antrim net. Antrim were shell shocked, but they were not finished yet and McCormick again produced the magic touch to seal a brilliant win.

Roisin McCormick was the star without doubt, but there were huge parts played by Amy Boyle, Maeve Kelly, Méabh O’Neill and, after a troubled start on McGrath, captain Ellen Hynds.

Westmeath contributed well to an excellent final with McGrath and Core central to everything up front and Chloe Butler and Méadbh Scally impressive at the back.             But for a second successive season the Saffrons came from behind to take the title with a late goal.

Antrim : Aine Graham, Caitie McCaughan, Eilis Kearns, Kathryn Mullan, Méabh O’Neill, Ellen Hynds capt., Emma Louise McAreavey, Amy Boyle, M Kelly 0-1 free, Roisin McCormick 3-9, 0-1 pen., 0-7 frees, Dearbhail Magill, Anna Connolly, Charley McCarry 0-1, Maire Downey, C Laverty 0-2.

Subs : Caitlin Crawford for C McCaughan (25).

Westmeath : Niamh O’Mahoney, Aoife Mullen capt, Chloe Butler, Emily McCabe, Aoife O’Malley, Maeve Scally 0-1 free, Lauryn Sheridan, Olivia Glynn, Ciara O’Looney, Lucy Power, Shiela McGrath 1-7, 0-5 frees, Laura Kilcoyne, Ava Balfe, Megan Dowdall 2-1, 1-0 free, Hannah Core 0-3.

Subs : Sinead Murtagh for L Kilcoyne (inj. 22), Rhona Cuffe for A Mullen (54)

Referee : Alan Doheny (Laois)



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