Loughgiel camogie forwards have too much firepower for battling Ballycastle
Fire Stop and Seal Antrim Senior Camogie Championship final: Loughgiel 4-13 Ballycastle 0-6
When Racquel Murphy pointed a 45 in first-half injury time, it meant that all six starting forwards for Loughgiel had found the target and the holders held a 3-6 to 0-2 lead over a young Ballycastle side that couldn’t make inroads at the other end of the pitch.
And experience had a key role to play in the game as Loughgiel went on to complete their four-in-a-row and lift the O’Duffy Cup for the 20th time.
They were able to close out their opponents with only 16-year-old Maeve Kelly after 20 minutes and Kathryn Donnelly five minutes from time managing to raise a Ballycastle flag from open play.
At the other end there were too many options for Ballycastle to close out, with Lucia McNaughton emerging as Player of the Match after plundering 1-3.
Despite a good opening quarter from the Ballycastle defence, Loughgiel’s first two scores were goals, from Aisling McFadden after five minutes and Chloe Higgins seven minutes later.
Points from Caoimhe Wright and Maeve Kelly cut the deficit to 2-1 to 0-2 after 20 minutes, but the winners hit another 1-5 before the break, the goal a Lucia McNaughton effort at a point that dipped under the bar into the corner of the net.
Two quick points on the restart from Racquel Murphy were followed by a second yellow and then a red card for Ballycastle midfielder Niamh Donnelly.
However her team-mates rallied round and managed to bring their total to six points, before Loughgiel finished with a flurry of 1-2, the goal coming from a volley from Emma McMullan a minute from time.
Loughgiel: M Coyle, A Connolly, L Connolly, C Boyle, F McVeigh, E McFadden capt, M Connolly, C Laverty, A Boyle, C Dobbin 0-2, C Higgins 1-0, L McNaughton 1-3, A McFadden 1-1, R Murphy 0-6, 0-3 frees, E McMullan 1-1.
Sub: Ú McNaughton for A Boyle (45), M Lynn for C Boyle, K McKillop for M Connolly, R McCormick for C Dobbin, E McGarry for C Laverty (all 53.
Ballycastle: A McGowan, M Donnelly, O Donnelly, B McKeague, C McShane, E Connor, C Donnelly, N Donnelly, M Beattie, E Laverty, K Donnelly 0-1, R Donnelly, M Kelly, C Wright 0-4 frees, A Donnelly.
Subs: N A Donnelly for M Donnelly (46), N O’Neill for C McShane (35).
Referee : Paul O’Neill (Creggan).
Down Senior Championship final: Clonduff 2-8 Ballygalget 0-9
Clonduff Shamrocks celebrate their half century later this year and they will have the Down Senior Camogie Cup at the top table for the banquet after taking their fifth title in Downpatrick on Saturday evening at the expense of a young Ballygalget side appearing in the club’s first final for 49 years.
Seven of the winning team collected their fifth medal and that experienced backbone was key to them building up a 2-5 to 0-3 interval lead, and then defending well for the second half hour.
Both goals came in the opening quarter with Cassie Fitzpatrick hitting the first and then Katie McGilligan firing home a second in the 13th minute to give her side a 2-2 to 0-0 advantage.
Indeed it took Ballygalget 19 minutes to open their account and all three points in the first half came from the stick of Anne Marie Smyth.
The Ards’ girls however upped their game for the second half and out-scored their opponents by 0-6 to 0-3, although crucially they couldn’t find the net to really put pressure on the eventual winners who had centre-forward Sarah Louise Carr named Player of the Match.
However Ballygalget have a lot to build on with this team, with the four Savage sisters and Anne Marie Smyth their key players on Saturday.
Clonduff: Cassie Fitzpatrick 1-1, Katie McGilligan 1-0, Paula Gribben 0-3, Sara Louise Carr 0-1, Megan O'Reilly 0-1, Beth Fitzpatrick 0-1, Clara Cowan 0-1
Ballygalget: Anne Marie Smyth 0-7, Erin Hagan 0-1, Danielle Toner 0-1.