Shamrock Success on finals day
Fire Stop and Seal Antrim Senior and Darraghs Joinery Intermediate Championship finals 2017 from Kickhams Creggan
Many congratulations to Loughgiel who had a great day in rain soaked Creggan picking up both the Intermediate and Senior Championships despite a hard fight from both Brídíní Óga and Ballycastle respectively who just didn't have enough craft and firepower to trouble the Shamrocks. The Intermediate final (referee Jimmy Totten)saw Victoria Edgar hammer home a goal in the first minute to give Brídini Óga a great start but Loughgiel were soon back in the game with an impressive first half hat-trick of opportunist goals from Ciara Laverty leaving a half time score of 3-04 to 1-01 to the Shamrocks. The second half saw two further goals added by Charley McCarry and another one from the ever impressive Meadhbh McCormick and despite some sterling defending from Laoch na hImeartha Leona Traynor for Brídíní Óga, the result was never in Doubt. Final Score Loughgiel 6-08 B. Óga 1-05
The Senior Final (Referee Paul O'Neill) was rather an anti-climax as the considerable gap in quality between both teams was evident from the throw-in. Following an early exchange of missed frees Aisling McFadden drew first blood with a well taken goal for the Shamrocks and Chloe Higgins wasn't far behind her with another. Lucia McNaughton added a third goal in a period of intense pressure. Frustration crept into the Ballycastle ranks and they had three players booked within a short space of time. Their lack of a game-plan seemed obvious and they only managed two first half points to leave a half time score of Loughgiel 3-06 Ballycastle 0-02. The second half saw Racquel Murphy convert a free and a 45 for Loughgiel followed by a nice point from play by Emma McMullan to push any hope of a comeback well beyond Ballycastle's reach.
Maeve Kelly, Caoimhe Wright and Rhona Donnelly all tried hard to create openings for Ballycastle but with no luck against a strong Loughgiel defence. The ` Toon` then had a player sent off for a second offence followed by one of their substitutes being yellow carded as the game disintegrated into a series of frees. The final score of Loughgiel 4-13 Ballycastle 0-06 was a fair reflection of the game and Shamrocks half Forward Lucia McNaughton won Laoch na hImeartha for a great all round performance. Captain Emma McFadden was presented with the brand new Senior county championship trophy generously donated by May's Jewellers of Belfast.
Additional report by Seamas McAleenan-
Darragh’s Joinery Antrim Intermediate final
Loughgiel 6-8 Brídíní Óga 1-4
Loughgiel won back the Darragh’s Joinery Antrim Intermediate title that St John’s took from them last year with a confident display against a Brídíní Óga side that battled hard but simply hadn’t got the cutting edge that the Shamrocks had.
Yet the game started as if it was promising something different with a length of the field move involving the McAleenans, Kirsten Edgar and Ashling Ward finished to the net by Torie Edgar with barely a minute on the clock.
That Glenravel didn’t build on that fantastic start however was down to how well Loughgiel’s defence settled with Katie McKillop a strong figure at centre-half back, while Katie Lynn dealt expertly with a number of other diagonal balls directed towards Torie Edgar in the first half.
That dominance in defence allowed their attack, and in particular Roisin McCormick and Charley McCarry, to stretch the Glenravel defence and Ciara Laverty finished three openings in the first quarter with goals to put her side in command of the game.
McCormick scored all the Loughgiel points in the opening half and they led by 3-4 to 1-1 at the break. It reflected how clinical the winners were in comparison to their opponents who snatched at chances after good approach work.
Loughgiel started the second half intending to finish the opposition off quickly – and they did! Roisin McCormick placed Charley McCarry for a goal in the opening minute with Therese McKinley and the McCormick sisters adding points, all inside the opening four minutes.
Caoimhe McAleenan responded with a free, but a left wing move from the Shamrocks was played into the path of Méadhbh McCormick who hit their fifth goal.
After that whirlwind start Glenravel came more into the game, and for perhaps a quarter of an hour pushed and probed at the Loughgiel defence, but failed to translate that pressure into scores.
Indeed there were few scores during the last 23 minutes – two frees from Caoimhe McAleenan, while Roisin McCormick pointed one for Loughgiel and a speculative high lob into the Glenravel goal area in the 54th minute caused a bit of confusion and Charley McCarry nipped in to tuck away her side’s sixth goal.
There wasn’t perhaps as big a gap in general play between the sides as the scoreline suggests, but by the same token Loughgiel knew how to put their less experienced opponents to the sword.
Loughgiel scorers : Eimear Boyle, Aoife O’Mullan, Katie Lynn, Louise McKillop, Maria Lynn, Katie McKillop, Eimear McGarry capt., Suzanne McKeown, Clare McKillop, Roisin McCormick 0-6, 0-3 frees, Méádhbh McCormick 1-1, Carla McGarry, Ciara Laverty 3-0, Charley McCarry 2-3, 0-1 free, Therese McKinley 0-1.
Subs: Brona McIntyre for S McKeown (53), Cara McIntyre for T McKinley (53), Lyndsay Higgins for C McCarry (55), Sarahanne McGarry for K Lynn (57), Megan McGarry for R McCormick (57).
Brídíní Óga: Aine Duffin, Lianne Kerr, Bernie Convery, Leona Traynor, Eimhear McAleenan, Ellen Hynds, Joanne McKeown, Laoise McKenna, Sian McNeill, Victoria Edgar 1-0, Shauna Kelly capt., Kirsty Laverty, Caoimhe McAleenan 0-4, 0-3 frees, Ashling Ward, Kirsten Edgar 0-1.
Subs : Clodagh McCann for S McNeill (40), Molly Woulahan for L Kerr (45).
Referee : Jimmy Totten (Cargin)