Minors make the final!
All-Ireland Minor championship semi-final
Antrim 4-19 Laois 3-6
Another strong second half showing in Stabannon Co Louth on Saturday
afternoon kept Antrim on course to collect a first All-Ireland Minor B
title in ten seasons when they defeated Laois at the semi-final stage by
a margin of 16 points.
The game was quite evenly-balanced during the opening half and indeed
Amy Byrne’s fortuitous goal in the 26th minute had the teams level on
However Antrim responded immediately with a point from Caoimhe Wright
and then a length-of-the-field move where the sliotar was cleverly
passed through Sian McNeill, Siobhán McKillop and Amy Boyle and ended
with Charley McCarry’s diagonal run and fetch taking her clear of the
Laois defence for the Loughgiel forward to rattle the net for an
interval lead of 2-7 to 1-6.
Antrim then took the game by the scruff of the neck with points in the
opening three minutes of the second half from Aine Devlin, McCarry and
Emily Falloon and they continued to pull clear with some excellent
scores during the third quarter.
Antrim’s defence was under a good bit of pressure during the opening
half, but new full-back Katie Lynn, replacing the injured Bronagh Devlin
was immense, with Brídíní Óga pair Kirsty Laverty and Sian McNeill
sweeping up well behind her.
Amy Boyle had another great hour at midfield, while the attack all
worked hard for each other with Caoimhe Wright posting a superb 2-9 from
play, including 1-5 in the opening half.
After Aine Devlin had opened the scoring from a free in the third
minute, Wright hit the next three points for a 0-4 to 0-2 lead at the
end of the opening quarter.
Áine Cuddy scored both Laois’ points and threatened danger on several
other occasions during the opening half, while midfielder Amy Byrne and
central defender Clodagh Tynan impressed as well – although the
midlanders didn’t seem to have the same variation in their play as
Although Wright picked up a knock-down from Méadhbh McCormick for a 19th
minute goal, Laois kept in contact through frees from Kirsten Keenan
before Laois’ goal in the 26th minute from Byrne tied the teams.
However Laois were not to score again until Jessie Quinlan found the
Antrim net in the 47th minute and by that point the Saffrons were well
on their way to victory with a 2-13 total.
And they responded to that goal in the next attack with Charley McCarry
picking off her second major. Five more unanswered points followed for
Emily Falloon, Caoimhe Wright, and two from Aine Devlin either side of a
fine score from half-time substitute Roisin McCormick.
Then a great clearance from Catherine McShane was picked up behind the
Laois defence and Caoimhe Wright smashed it to the net.
Although Jessie Quinlan responded with her second goal a few minutes
from time, Wright fittingly fired over her ninth point to bring the
scoring to a close.
In the other semi-final, Kildare defeated Meath by 3-9 to 0-9 and the
pair are now lined up to contest the final on April 22nd.
Antrim : Caitriona Graham capt., Sian McNeill, Katie Lynn, Kirsty
Laverty, Catherine McShane, Cliodhna Donnelly, Ellen Hynds, Amy Boyle,
Caoimhe McNeice, Aine Devlin 0-5, 0-3 frees, Siobhan McKillop, Emily
Falloon 0-2, Caoimhe Wright 2-9, Méadhbh McCormick, Charley McCarry 2-1.
Subs : Róisín McCormick 0-2 for C McNeice (ht), Maeve Kelly for M
McCormick (45), Finvola McVeigh for C Donnelly (50), Rebecca Hargan for
A Boyle (54), Caoimhe Conlon for C McCarry (54), Kirsty McKendry, Méabh
O’Neill, Bronagh Devlin, Aine Donnelly, Torie Edgar.
Laois : A Lowry, E gowling, A Collier, S Kirwan, M O’Connor, C Tynan, R
Walsh, J Quinlan 2-0, A Byrne 1-0, S Cuddy, A Cuddy 0-2, S Phelan, L
Fennell, K Keenan 0-3 frees, C Galbraith 0-1.
Subs : S Fleming for S Cuddy (42), S Jones for M O’Connor (49), E
Carroll for C Galbraith (49).
Referee : Philip McDonald (Cavan)