Antrim drop back into junior championship after defeat to Wicklow

The Saffrons have endured a miserable season after the highs of 2022 and 2023

Antrim v Sligo ladies gaelic football
Hannah Donaghy (right) scored a late consolation goal for Antrim in defeat to Wicklow. Picture: Mal McCann (Mal McCann)

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies’ IFC relegation qualifier

Wicklow 2-15 Antrim 1-3

ANTRIM will drop back down to junior championship football for next season after losing this intermediate championship relegation play-off to Wicklow at Lannleire.

The writing was on the wall early for the Saffrons, Wicklow’s 2-11 to 0-2 half-time lead looking insurmountable.

Two goals in three minutes, first from Niamh Caffrey in the 11th minute and then Aoife Kavanagh in the 13th minute, gave the Leinster side a 2-5 to 0-1 advantage, although Antrim did have a couple of goal chances but failed to take any and at the other end Wicklow were not missing many.

They had five points on the board before Aoife Taggart, combining with her sister Caitlin, opened Antrim’s account in the ninth minute.

However, Wicklow’s next two scores were majors and they hit 2-6 to 0-1 over the remainder of the half, Theresa Mellon with a well-taken point for Antrim.

Niamh Caffrey finished the half with three points for Wicklow to give them that commanding 15-point lead. Antrim did come close to a goal but the post denied Blaithin Nic Cathal.

The second half petered out, Wicklow keeping the scoreboard ticking over through Kavanagh, a brace from Aibhe King and Caoimhe Murphy, while Antrim grabbed a late consolation goal from Hannah Donaghy in the final minute.

A disappointing season that ended with relegation from Division Three and Intermediate championship concludes for Antrim who now must start again in 2025.