NWP Bridie McMenamin Shield final
Brídíní Óga Glenravel 10-16 Kilclief Beann Dearg Down -0-1
In the opening three minutes of this NWP Bridie McMenamin Shield final in Eglish, it looked as if first time Antrim Junior champions Brídíní Óga Glenravel would get a tough enough challenge.
Although Kirsten Edgar had burst through for an early Brídíní Óga point, Down champions Kilclief hit back with a point and then full-forward Mary Swail got in behind the Glenravel defence to blast a shot from ten metres. Goalie Áine Duffin however controlled the sliotar on the end of her hurl and cleared.
At the other end Ashling Ward blasted over when she had a clear goal chance, but the corner-forward was more clinical in the 9th minute when she finished a length-of-the-field move involving five players by blasting to the roof of the net.
That score settled the Antrim girls and they really turned on the power for the rest of the game, making it a very uncomfortable time for the Down side, who in fairness battled to the end. But the speed and skill of the young Brídíní Óga side were really too much for them.
Player of the Match Ashling Ward drew a fine save from Jordan Hynds in the 15th minute, but Victoria Edgar pounced on the rebound for goal number 2, which was followed 60 seconds later by a third, this time Ward’s shot coming back for Shauna Kelly to fire home.
By half-time Brídíní Óga were 5-6 to 0-1 ahead, Victoria Edgar and Shauna Kelly each bagging their second major, while the defence took control with Lianne Kerr, Erin McAleese, Ellen Hynds and Laoise McKenna all prominent.
It was more of the same after the break, at which point two substitutions had already come in. Caoimhe McAleenan placed Ashling Ward for her second goal in the 34th minute and Suzzanah Brown threaded a pass through for Victoria Edgar to complete her hat-trick a minute later.
Shauna Kelly brought her personal tally to 3-1 by the 38th minute and the Glenravel management sent in their other three substitutes, one of whom, Oonagh Ward immediately registered a point.
Brídíní Óga never let up during the last quarter and both Ashling Ward and Torie Edgar added goals, while several players tagged on excellent points, the pick of which came from Laoise McKenna, who caught a puck-out, burst through four players and fired over left-handed from 60 metres.
This performance and result followed the pattern set by Brídíní Óga after they picked up the Antrim title at the start of September. They had won the quarter-final and semi-final racking up totals of 6-15 and 6-16 and bettered that with their goal-tally on Sunday.
With eight of the starting line-out still minors, and quite a few of those making a big impact with Antrim county teams, there is huge potential in this side to advance to the next level in 2017.
Those youngsters have re-juvenated players who have been around for a few more years without picking up success and often being on the wrong side of a similar score-line to Sunday.
Brídíní Óga: Aine Duffin, Lianne Kerr,Bernadette Convery, Erin
McAleese, Sian McNeill, Laoise
McKenna 0-1, Ellen Hynds, Joanne McKeown, Kirsten Edgar 0-1, Caoimhe McAleenan 0-4, 0-2
frees, Kirsty Laverty, Shauna Kelly capt. 3-2, Ashling Ward 3-4, Victoria Edgar 4-3, Suzannah Brown.
Subs : Eimhear McAleenan for S McNeill (ht), Caroline McFadden for L Kerr (ht),Eimear Higgins for K Laverty (38), Oonagh Ward 0-1 free for S Brown (38), Bronagh McKay for K Edgar (40).
Subs unused : Jade Bradley, Justine O’Hagan, Úna McAleenan, Lauren Edgar, Shannon O’Boyle, Jade Bradley, Sabrina Speers, Leona Traynor, Dervla Donaghy, Gemma Walsh.
Kilclief : Jordan Hynds, Zara Hynds, Orla King capt., Clare Hynds, Eimear Dorrian, Catherine Deegan, Karen Bradley, Fionnuala O’Boyle, Joanne Sloan, Niamh Conway, Grainne Cassidy 0-1, Roisin Magorrian, Colleen Reilly, Mary Swail, Aine Fitzsimmons.