Aoife McDowell and Lauren Clarke lead the way for Down camogie squad
Camogie: NWP Ulster Minor Championship Cup semi-finals: Down 2-8 Armagh 0-10; Derry 0-3 Antrim 7-24
A well-worked team goal finished by Down's Aoife McDowell in the 33rd minute was the key score in a keenly contested NWP Ulster Minor camogie semi-final against Armagh at Mayobridge yesterday.
That goal opened a gap between the teams and the Down defence, with Hannah Dorrian and newcomer Rachel Canniford in excellent form, held out under a lot of Armagh pressure until Lauren Clarke's solo goal in the 52nd minute sealed the victory.
The first half was very tense and finished at 0-4 each with Leeanne Donnelly scoring twice for Armagh and Saoirse Sands picking off three points for the home side.
Leeanne put Armagh ahead on the re-start, but Blathnaid Savage equalised and then came the McDowell goal.
Armagh were restricted to points from Donnelly during the rest of the game, while Anna French and Caela Casey worked hard in defence, but Down had their noses in front and were determined to hold out.
The other semi-final in Swatragh turned out much as expected although Derry looked in a good position when they trailed into the stiff breeze by just 0-5 to 0-2 after 20 minutes' play.
However a 24th minute goal from Charley McCarry opened the floodgates and recently crowned All-Ireland minor champions Antrim went in at the break 4-11 to 0-2 ahead.
Siobhan McKillop (2) and Caoimhe Wright were the other goal-scorers, but Antrim didn't kick on for the second half, scoring just two frees during the third quarter.
However the Saffrons took off once more with a 46th minute point from Caoimhe Wright, who amassed 1-9 over the hour and finished strongly with goals from substitutes Roisin McCormick (2) and Torie Edgar.
Down: Aoife McDowell (1-0), Lauren Clarke (1-0), Saoirse Sands (0-5, 0-3 frees), Blathnaid Savage (0-2), Andrea McKillop (0-1).
Armagh: Leeanne Donnelly (0-8, 0-4 frees), Catherine Beagan (0-1), Shannon Morgan (0-1).
Antrim: Roisin McCormick (2-4, 0-3 frees), Siobhan McKillop (2-2), Caoimhe Wright (1-9, 0-1 free), Charley McCarry (1-2), Victoria Edgar (1-1), Aine Donnelly (0-4), Emily Falloon (0-2).
Derry: Clare Mulholland (0-1 free), Rachel McAllister (0-1(, Brooke Scullion (0-1 free).