Hurling and camogie

Charley McCarry powers Antrim camogie into All-Ireland final

Séamas McAleenan

PIC OF Charley McCarry coming from INpho today, T

All-Ireland Minor B Camogie Championship semi-final: Antrim 5-8 Carlow 1-5

THREE second half goals from corner-forward Charley McCarry turned this All-Ireland minor semi-final in Inniskeen on Saturday afternoon emphatically in favour of holders Antrim after a nervous opening half.

Challengers Carlow really put it up to a sluggish Saffron challenge during the opening half and the teams turned over at 1-4 each. Indeed at that point it looked like advantage Carlow as the south Leinster side seemed to be wind-assisted for the second half.

However Antrim were much improved on the re-start and dictated the play, while their defence superbly controlled by Eilis Kearns and Ellen Hynds in the central positions kept Carlow scoreless from open play.

Carlow opened the scoring and went three points up all from open play (two from Ciara Kavannagh and the other from Tish Murphy) before Antrim found their feet with a free from Roisin McCormick in the 11th minute.

A few minutes later and the same player picked up possession on the right wing and drove through for a fine individual goal and after another couple of minutes Carlow ‘keeper Laura Bermingham pulled off a brilliant save from Charley McCarry as Antrim stepped up a gear.

Anna Connolly and Ciara Laverty fired over points, before Kavannagh pointed a free. Then came a set-back with Eve Lawler finding the net for Carlow.

However Charley McCarry took a pass from Carla McCarry to blast a second Antrim goal within three minutes of the re-start and Antrim were back on track.

Ciara Laverty added another goal in the 39th minute, both majors iced with points from Roisin McCormick.

Then McCarry buried a 44th minute strike to take her side clear at 4-6 to 1-5 and the half-time worries disappeared. The same player completed her hat-trick close to the final whistle as Antrim set up a final date with Westmeath.

Incidentally all the Saffron scores came from Loughgiel players who four years ago won Ulster's first ever All-Ireland Féile Division 1 title.

Antrim: A Graham, C McCaughan, E Kearns, EL McAreavey, M O'Neill, E Hynds capt., F Toner, A Boyle, M Kelly, R McCormick, 1-6, 0-2 frees, D Magill, A Connolly 0-1, C McCarry 3-0, C McGarry, C Laverty 1-1.

Subs: S Darragh for C McGarry (51), E Matthews for F Toner (54), E Cafola for C Laverty (56)

Carlow: L Bermingham, R Bolger, A Nolan, E Murphy, K Collins, L Nolan, T Bermingham, A Behan, E Byrne, E Sinnott, A Cushen, E Lawler 1-0, C Kavanagh 0-4, 0-2 frees, T Murphy 0-1, E Doyle

Referees: P McDonald (Cavan)

All-Ireland Minor B Camogie Championship semi-final: Westmeath 1-14 Laois 0-6

WESTMEATH will play Antrim in the All-Ireland Minor B Camogie final with this comfortable win in the midlands derby in Birr.

Westmeath powered away during the opening half and, but for the heroics of Éadaoin Lowry, the margin would have been much more as the Laois net-minder made a series of outstanding saves.

The winners led by 0-11 to 0-2 at the break and had a good range of point scorers. The goal from Laura Kilcoyne arrived mid-way through the second period and it was needed to head off a mini revival from Laois, who were driven on by Clodagh Tynan and Áine Cuddy.

Síle McGrath and Ciara O'Looney contributed four points each and will certainly cause problems for Antrim in the decider.

Westmeath: Laura Kilcoyne 1-0, Síle McGrath 0-4 Ciara O'Looney 0-4, Eva Balse 0-2, Megan Dowdall 0-2, Lucy Power 0-2.

Laois: Kirsten Keenan 0-2, Clodagh Tynan 0-1, Alice Walsh 0-1, Shona Jones 0-1, Amy Collier 0-1.

Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues Div 2 semi-finals

Cork 1-13 Kilkenny 0-9

Westmeath 3-10 Dublin 1-6

THERE were no surprises in the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues Div 2 semi-finals at Walsh Park and Clane yesterday with Cork and Westmeath reproducing their round robin form to reach the decider.

Westmeath's win was a repeat of their success over Dublin in the All-Ireland Premier Junior final last September but it was more comprehensive on this occasion, and significantly puts them into the league final for the first time – and that despite recording just one point from the three penalties they earned.

Pamela Greville had one saved after just four minutes but buried a free after 11 minutes and, although Aoife Dooley responded with a Dublin goal on 16 minutes, points from Sheila McGrath, Denise McGrath and Caoimhe McCrossan stretched the gap to 1-7 to 1-0 at half time.

It was the 38th minute before Aoibhe Dillon finally got Dublin's first point but any chance of a comeback was snuffed out with Pamela Greville nudging the sliotar over the line after a scramble in the Dublin area. Sheila McGrath added another goal as Westmeath finished in style.

Cork laid the foundations for their triumph with a magnificent defensive effort in the first half, led by skipper Sarah Harrington and Lauren Callanan. They faced into a very strong wind in that opening period but led at the interval by 0-7 to 0-6.

Keeva McCarthy, Katie Wall, Caroline Sugrue, Rachel O'Shea and Niamh O'Callaghan were among the scorers for the Rebels, with Edel Coonan and Margaret Hoynes on the mark for Kilkenny.

With the wind aiding their efforts after the re-start, Cork put some daylight between them and the Cats, with a point from Sugrue, followed by three long-range frees by McCarthy and a brilliant score by Katelyn Hickey.

Rachel O'Callaghan hand-passed to the Kilkenny net seven minutes from time as Cork stayed on course to retain the title.

Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues Div 2 Relegation play-off

Down 3-10 Kildare 0-5

FIRST half goals from Sarah Louise Graffin set Down on the way to securing their Division 2 status with a comfortable victory over Kildare yesterday at the Meath Centre of Excellence in Dunganny.

The Clonduff forward had the sliotar in the net in the opening minute and that gave her team an immediate boost. They settled down and worked hard at the back to keep Kildare restricted to just two points in the first half hour.

Sarah Louise's second goal was a well-finished team move in the 20th minute and that helped them to a 2-7 to 0-2 interval lead.

It was a bit tighter during the second half and there had been just two points each by the time Orla Gribben rifled in Down's third goal in the 46th minute to end the contest.

Down: Sarah Louise Graffin 2-1, Orla Gribben 1-0, Niamh Mallon 0-4, 0-3 frees, Dearbhla Savage 0-2, Paula O'Hagan 0-2, Aimee McAleenan 0-1

Kildare: Emer Reilly 0-2, 0-1 free, Lea Sutton 0-1, Ciara Egan 0-1, Sarah Cullen 0-1

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Hurling and camogie