8 Oct 2017
NWP Recycling Ulster Junior camogie semi-final
Sunday October 8th in Glenravel
Brídíní Óga Glenravel (Antrim) 3-9 Castlewellan (Down) 2-9
Last Sunday Brídíní Óga and Crosserlough won their quarter-final ties in the NWP Recycling Ulster Junior camogie championship right at the death. Yesterday the Antrim and Cavan sides edged home once more to face each other in next Sunday’s final.
In Glenravel Brídíní Óga didn’t get off to a great start, conceding the opening two points to a fast moving Castlewellan attack, but after Ashling Ward drop-pucked the sliotar to hit the roof of the Castlewellan net in the 7th minute, they took control and stifled the challenge of the Down champions.
Their ability to win the dirty ball in rucks and come away opened up the pathways up front and arguably they should have been further ahead than 2-4 to 1-3 at the break – although the visitors had pressed a lot around midfield and half-forward.
The Glenravel defence held out well with Bern Convery marshalling the full-back line well. For much of the first half Laoise McKenna was playing in a sweeper role as her player drifted into the middle to pick up Kirsten Edgar who seemed to be free for most the half.
Kirsten had a stormer, picking up possession time and again and then going on penetrating runs that delivered 0-3 before the break and a fine point during the second half.
Her sister Victoria was equally effective on the opposite wing and her two goals were nails in the visiting team’s coffin. While she was guilty of a missing couple of scores as well, notably an open goal ten minutes into the second half, she held her nerve to slot over a late free to counter Sorcha McCartan’s excellent goal a few minutes earlier.
Castlewellan midfielder Aoife Keown looked the most accomplished hurler on the field, but Ellen Hynds significantly tempered her influence with Joanne McKeown and Kirsty Laverty sweeping in quickly on the loose ball.
After Ashling Ward’s 7th minute goal had got her side going, Kirsten Laverty picked off a point, Kirsty Laverty raced through for another and then Caoimhe McAleenan’s free dropped handy for Victoria Edgar to net a second Glenravel goal.
Kirsty had another goal chance shortly after, but Keown cleared off the line only for Kirsten Edgar to return the clearance for a point.
Caitriona Caldwell however reminded the home side that Castlewellan were dangerous by soloing through for a great goal in the 21st minute. But Kirsten responded with a point, while Sorcha McCartan’s late white flag left it 2-4 to 1-3 at the turnover.
Castlewellan started the second half as they did the first with the opening two points, this time inside 90 seconds, but Victoria Edgar then cut in along the side line for her second goal.
That left the home side with enough breathing space to soak up the Castlewellan pressure, and the teams traded scores from then until the 56th minute when a great solo goal from Sorcha McCartan put on a little more pressure.
However there were no real scares during the last five minutes of play and Torie Edgar slotted over a late free from the angle of 45 metres’ line and sideline to leave a goal separating them at the death.
Glenravel now play Cavan senior champions Crosserlough in a double-header with the Bridie McMenamin Shield final, which we won this time last year (Dunloy play Naomh Treasa Dungannon in that) with Tattyreagh in Tyrone provisionally set as the venue.
Crosserlough were also at home and also took control during the opening half, despite a poor start when Caoimhe Rafferty’s 4th minute goal was followed quickly by a point from Emma McAliskey.
However those were Derrylaughan’s only scores of the half and, after Sinead McKenna had hit two of Crosserlough’s three points in reply, the centre-forward fired in a 19th minute goal direct from a free. Laura Ellis added a second in the 27th minute for an interval lead of 2-3 to 1-1 for the Cavan champions.
Although Caoimhe Rafferty got her second goal in the 32nd minute and Aisling Corr edged the Tyrone girls ahead 3-2 to 2-4 after 40 minutes, McKenna got Crosserlough back on track with three of the next four points and they held out to win 2-8 to 3-4 despite two late points from Emma McAliskey.
Brídíní Óga: Aine Duffin, Lianne Kerr, Bernie Convery, Leona Traynor, Sian McNeill, Laoise McKenna, Ellen Hynds, Eimhear McAleenan, Joanne McKeown, Kirsten Edgar 0-4, Kirsty Laverty 0-2, Caoimhe McAleenan 0-1, Ashling Ward 1-0, Shauna Kelly capt., Victoria Edgar 2-2, 0-1 free.
Subs : Clodagh McCann for S Kelly (56), Eimear Higgins for A Ward (59)
Castlewellan : Louise McCabe, Amy Barr, Cara Cunningham, Megan O’Boyle, Emma Rice, Aisling Connolly, Emma Crosskery, Aoife Keown 0-4, 0-2 frees, Caitriona Caldwell capt. 1-0, Nicola McCabe 0-1, Sorcha McCartan 1-2, Aislinn Hawkins, Katie Smith, Deborah Crosskery 0-1, Aisling O’Neill.
Subs : Laoise Keaveney for E Rice (23), Anna Rogan 0-1 for A O’Neill (ht), Beckie White for K Smith (37)
Referee : EP Cassidy (Derry)