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Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie League Div 2-Round 3

13 Mar 2017

Littlewoods Ireland National  Camogie League Div 2-Round 3

Kildare 0-16 Antrim 0-09

Following their defeat by Galway on a waterlogged pitch in Oranmore a fortnight ago the Saffron camógs hoped for a more positive outcome against the Lilywhites at Hawkfield in Newbridge but once again came away with no points despite being the better team for the final third of the game. With four changes in the line-up  from the Galway game due to player unavailability, Antrim faced a stiff breeze in the first half and  soon found the home side surging ahead with a series of points from their impressive half forward line of Róisín O'Connell, Siobhan Hurley and Louise Keatley. O'Connell and Keatley took a brace of points each from play while Hurley converted six  frees . Antrim  were only able to respond via three Nicole O'Neill scores from  placed balls, a couple of wides  and a missed goal chance from the industrious Niamh Donnelly, the half time score of 10 points to 3 in Kildare's favour left Antrim with a mountain to climb in the second half.

The second half began no better for the Antrim girls ,despite having the wind at their backs, as Hurley, O'Connell and Egan ran up a string of five more points  for a slick Kildare side to seemingly put the game beyond the visitor's reach. Facing a deficit of 15 points to 3 the plucky  Saffrons took the initiative and surged forward, throwing caution to the winds and on three occasions came very close to taking a goal as Emma Connor and Maédhbh Laverty  caused chaos in the home team's defence. Nicole O'Neill  took advantage of the confusion to score two superb points from play and almost put a 21 metre free in the Kildare net. Antrim had two other goal opportunities scrambled away by the home defence while in a brief period of respite Ciara Egan had a tremendous goal attempt superbly turned onto the upright and safety by Antrim Keeper Noeleen Cosgrove. Aine Mulholland and captain Aileen Martin stood out as the Saffrons pushed hard for more scores and threes points from frees put over by Nicole O'Neill and a soaring late point from Emma Connor brought Antrim's tally almost into double figures but the game ended with Kildare running out deserved winners by 16 points to 9. Manager Aidan McKeown was positive  about his team's performance.

" most of this team have only a minimum of senior county experience so ,despite losing, I am taking a lot of positives away from the game. Rebuilding a squad takes time and we showed our ability in patches today. We need to work on consistency and it will come with time. We are  in Westmeath for our third successive away game next Sunday and will prepare as best we can. I have to say the girls have put in a huge effort in every game we have played so far and I cannot fault them on that."

Antrim Line- out:  N.Cosgrove, L. Reid, A.Martin, C.Patterson, K.Donnelly, S. Martin , A.Kelly, A.Mulholland, M.Laverty, N.O'Neill, S.Woulahan, O.O'Hara, M. Elliot, N.Donnelly, E.Connor. Sub used- C.McAleenan for S.Woulahan.



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