Match report Div2 St.Johns V Dunloy
Div 2 Camogie League from Corrigan Park, Belfast.
St. John’s 1-04 Dunloy 1-08 Referee Paul McDonnell (Rossa)
St John’s and Dunloy played out an entertaining opening to their Division 2 game in Corrigan Park, Belfast last night. St John’s who were Antrim Intermediate Champions in 2016 were badly depleted from that impressive squad that defeated Loughgiel and only a spine of five of last year's successful starting 15 took the field against Dunloy namely Carrie-anne Williamson, Una Simpson, Aileen Fox , Eimhear Costello and Debbie Boyd.
Dunloy started much the brighter of the two sides and were first on the score board. Erin Elliott worked her way through the defender to fire over the bar. No sooner had the ball been pucked out and it was in the St Johns net. Francis McMahon fired low into Mary McToal, her shot was well blocked down by the St Johns defender but the break bounced nicely into Mary Martin to find the roof of the net.
St John’s needed to settle themselves, following some rather gullible ground stroke defending and they got on the score board from the placed ball. Dunloy’s defence were too eager to gain possession and conceded the foul. The resultant placed ball was fired over by Eimhear Costello to leave the score 1-01 to 0-01.
Another placed ball, this time from Erin Elliott increased Dunloy’s lead. In fact it was Erin again who registered Dunloy’s next score, again from the placed ball.
Again, Dunloy’s defence was guilty of giving away silly fouls which St John’s Eimhear Costello fired over with ease. Like Erin Elliott she was deadly accurate with the placed ball and she then knocked over a 45 to leave the score 1-03 to 0-03.
As the game was closing into half time Dearbhail Elliott hammered over her first score of the match to leave it St. John’s 0-03 Dunloy 1-04.
With the fading light both sides had agreed to play 20min each way so that visibility wouldn’t affect the game. It definitely didn’t affect the quality of tackling and skill on show as both sides worked themselves into the ground fighting for possession.
St. Johns registered the first score of the game from Debbie Boyd which closed the gap to 3 points.
A hard-worked score from the scoreboard side of the pitch from Dearbhail Elliott tagged her second point of the match which was then followed up by a well worked score from Fiona Hills.
St John’s started to pile the pressure on to get back into the match and were gaining the upper hand in the midfield battle. Hesketh and Costello were putting in a shift in the middle of the park and it was rewarded with a goal. The ball was played in to the box and Dunloy’s defence didn’t deal with it. A goal mouth scramble resulted in the ball being kicked home by Michaela Fegan .
Dunloy needed to get the next score and yet again it was the stick of Erin Elliott. Her pointed free was followed up by another from open play to leave the score 1-08 to 1-04. With no more scoring, time running out and light fading the ref blew the full-time whistle.
An entertaining match from both sides but one that Dunloy will feel they were more than comfortable for the duration. St Johns to their credit never stopped battling despite the loss of so many players from last season they will still be a force later on in the season.
For Dunloy Orlagh O’Neill and Chloe Boyd had good games in defence, at midfield Francis McMahon & Katherine Mullan put in a good shift. Up front Erin Elliot had a fine game and was well supported by Dearbhail Elliott & Mary Martin.
A Scott, A Forde, J Rush, N Martin, O O’Neill, C McGuckian, C Boyd, K Mullan & F McMahon, F Hills, E Elliott, D Elliott, M McToal, M Martin, D Magill.
Subs used – S O’Mullan, K Ingram
St. John's team- C.McGivern, C. Richmond, C.Williamson, Cl. Morgan, U.Simpson, A.Fox , A. Hesketh, E.Costello, F. Leyden, D.Boyd, M. Fegan, A.Quinn, C. Weir, A. McParland , sub D.McGuigan
(Combined report by Paul McLean and Michael Costello )