Camogie: Loughgiel and Slaughtneil must meet again after Athletic Grounds draw
NWP Recycling Ulster Senior Camogie Championship final: Loughgiel Shamrocks (Antrim) 1-8 Robert Emmet’s, Slaughtneil (Derry) 1-8
THE Ulster crown is still up for grabs as a winner after Loughgiel and Slaughtneil could not be separated at the Athletic Grounds yesterday.
Eilis, Aoife and Brona Cassidy all lined out for Slaughtneil less than a week after the death of their father Thomas, who was joint-manager of the team with Dominic McKinley and Damien McEldowney. It was the Derry side that had the brighter start but Louise Dougan was unable to covert two frees but it was Eilis Cassidy who opened the scoring.
Loughgiel’s response was immediate, Aisling McFadden hitting home from close range after a ball across the square from Raquel McCarry caused confusion in the Slaughtneil backline.
The Shamrocks pushed on with Una McNaughton pointing before McCarry added four frees. Slaughtneil broke through the Loughgiel defence on two occasions but Megan Coyle was more than equal to the challenge, standing firm to deny both Mary Kelly and Theresa Mellon.
McCarry had a chance to extend her side’s lead when a ball over the top from Charlene Campbell found her in space but Brona Cassidy kept her side within touching distance with a fine block.
Shannon Graham took over freetaking duty for Slaughtneil and the move proved effective as she pointed three times to make it 1-6 to 0-4 at the break.
Both sides struggled to take control of the game at the start of the second half as they both were guilty of missing chances but Slaughtneil finally made the break through when Aoife Cassidy lofted a high ball into the square, Mary Kelly claimed possession and turned to handpass into the Loughgiel net.
A point from a tight angle by Ashling McFadden got Loughgiel off the mark 15 minutes into the second half and put three between the sides before McCarry hit over a fine point to extend her side’s lead to four. Louise Dougan took back the free taking responsibility and hit two before Eilis Cassidy reduced the gap to one.
Slaughtneil pushed for an equaliser and they were rewarded with five minutes to go when Mary Kelly fired over. Both sides pushed for a winner but the two backlines held firm to ensure that they will meet again next Sunday.
Loughgiel captain Charlene Campbell said her side’s performance dipped in the second half but that they would learn from that ahead of next week’s replay.
“We knew it was going to be a battle and that’s what it turned out to be. We probably didn’t play to our potential in the second half but look it’s still all to play for,” she said.
“We will regroup and get back to training next week. We have things we can work on and hopefully next day out we can get the result."
Eglish retained the Ulster intermediate championship with a 0-19 to 0-6 win over Granemore. The Tyrone champions controlled the game from the off, hitting six points before Granemore got off the mark.