Antrim Storm into Ulster Minor Final once again!
Armagh came to Creggan today to play a game that should have been played a couple of months ago and in the end, what a game it was! Well worth the wait. The game began with a number of over-enthusiastic physical challenges and Antrim midfielder Bronagh McCaughan was the unfortunate victim of the early sabre rattling as she was sent off after ten minutes for a couple of yellow cards which she scarcely deserved when compared with some of the challenges that went unpunished.
Antrim knew they had their work cut out with only 14 players and Captain Maédhbh Laverty playing with a heavily strapped hand injury. Armagh also took the lead with an early point but Captain Lavo made a great solo run and scored a fine goal to put Antrim back in the driving seat. Ursula McCotter, back from injury kept the scoring up with two nicely taken points, one from a free. Antrim had to work very hard against Armagh’s extra man in mid-field and following a blow to the injured hand Maedhbh Laverty had to be withdrawn for the rest of the game. Áine Mulholland came on as her replacement and fought hard in midfield . Armagh’s speed in counter attacking earned them a goal and two more points before the interval but Antrim pushed forward and Orlagh O’Hara in great scoring form hammered home two goals in quick succession to deflate the Armagh aspirations. O’Hara, Kathryn Donnelly and McCotter all pointed frees to give Antrim an impressive half time lead of 3-05 to 1-02
The second half saw Antrim face an angled breeze which pushed the play out to one side and Armagh gambled on a reshuffle of positions to optimise their extra man advantage on that side of the field. Antrim however stood firm in the face of an onslaught and all Armagh could manage was another seven points in the second half. Antrim increased their lead with some quick counter attacking and McCotter, O’Hara and Sinéad Cosgrove all broke free to score excellent goals while Eimear Byrne scored two fine points and Lucia McNaughton, who performed well throughout the game, was rewarded with a point. This was, of course, a team effort first and foremost and Antrim’s defenders deserve as much praise as the girls who scored. Well done to Orlagh O’Hara on her three goals and congratulations to Manager Chris McAuley, and canny mentors Kieran O’Connell and Declan McKillop on a job well done.
C.Boyle, L.Elliot, E.Costello,
E.McGarry, K.Donnelly, C.Patterson
S.Cosgrove L.McNaughton, E.Byrne
M.Lofthouse, O.O’Hara, U.McCotter
A.Mulholland sub for M.Laverty.
Antrim Scorers O.O’Hara 3-02, U.McCotter 1-03 E.Byrne 0-02
M.Laverty 1-0, K.Donnelly 0-01, L.McNaughton 0-01, S.Cosgrove 1-0