Seniors host Cork
Littlewoods National League Division 2 Group 2 . Antrim V Cork at All Saints, Ballymena. Ref: Paul Ryan, Kildare.
The arrival of Cork , by far the best Littlewoods National League Division two team this season, made no impression on the camogie fraternity of County Antrim as only a handful turned out to watch this game. Rather our county was deeply engrossed in a full round of minor championship matches , sadly reflecting the true status of our senior camogie county team and indicating the root causes of our lack of success at national level. The club games come first and the county games a very poor second. Having said that ,the twenty or so people who came to watch were well entertained with some great camogie on view. Cork played with the wind in the first half and with their usual fluency got over Emma Connor's early point for Antrim by taking the next 6 scores without reply. Keeva McCarthy was a thorn in the Antrim side throughout the game and the Saffrons created problems for themselves by giving away far too many frees. Only a free converted by Nicole O'Neill broke the visitors rhythm as they chalked up another four points by half time ,mostly from frees converted by the impressive Rachel O'Shea who displayed pace, control, accuracy and indeed all those superior qualities we need to coach into our young camógs , yet almost none were there to watch and learn from her. Antrim tried hard to get back into the game and Emma Connor had a goal attempt kicked off the line in an exciting goal mouth scramble and The industrious Orlagh O'Hara snatched another point for Antrim before the interval but the gap in quality was clear as the half time whistle left a score of Antrim 0-03 Cork 0-10.
The second half left Antrim enjoying the tail wind and although Cork basically sealed the victory with three more quick points, a bit of a Saffron comeback was on the cards as they has nothing to lose. Nicole O'Neill struck three long range points in her usual effortless fashion and Orlagh O'Hara grabbed a couple of close range goals after good approach work by Michaela Elliott and Maédhbh Laverty. Emma Connor also managed a point as the home side put a more respectable complexion on the scoreline. Katie McAleese was very close to scoring what would have been a valuable goal for Antrim but luck deserted her and Ní Chaoimh cleared the danger in a tangle of hurls and helmets. Cork however steadied up thanks to strong performances from Buckley and Crowley in defence and kept up a steady stream of points with two notable scores from play via the stick of Caroline Sugrue to leave a final score of Antrim 2-07 Cork 0-21. Having lost all their league games except the home win against Armagh leaves Antrim second from the bottom of Division two group 2 , with bottom team Armagh in a possible relegation play off against Down who finished bottom of Div 2 group 1.
Antrim -McKeown , Reid, K.Donnelly, Patterson, N.Donnelly A.Martin S. Martin
Kelly, Mulholland, N.M.O'Neill, McAleese , Laverty, Elliot, Connor, O'Hara. Sub used McAleenan.
Cork- Lee ,Kelleher, Ní Chaoimh, Crowley, Buckley, Harrington, Hickey, Fahey, Neville ,O'Shea, Sugrue, Calnan, Shine, Kelly ,Ryan.