Hurling & Camogie

Antrim regain Ulster senior title with slender win over Derry

The Saffrons’ experience proved crucial in the decider in Edendork

Caitrin Dobbin helped Antrim over the line in their semi-final win over Derry Picture by INPHO/Evan Treacy
Caitrín Dobbin scored the only goal of the game for Antrim in Edendork

Armagh City Hotel Ulster Senior Camogie Championship final

Antrim 1-11 Derry 0-11

THIS was a tough encounter that was settled by the greater experience of Antrim players who were just that little bit more clinical both in general play and in taking their scores than a Derry side that went scoreless for a quarter of an hour in the second half.

Both teams, though, were guilty of some poor shooting. Derry had put five wide before Aoife Shaw opened their account in the 13th minute from a 45.

Antrim were more accurate at the start and their first three efforts went over the bar, one each from Caitrín Dobbin, Dervla Cosgrove (free) and Maeve Kelly.

However, between then and half-time, they pulled five wide and added six more in the second half. But some of the credit has to go to both sets of defences for their commitment and work in supporting each other.

After that early Antrim burst, Aoife Shaw found the range with two frees and Áine Barton tapped over from the right wing to tie the scores.

Antrim had gone 12 minutes without a score until Róisín McCormick picked out Erin Coulter with a crossfield pass. The Glenravel defender pushed forward and drew the defender before off-loading to Caitrín Dobbin for the only goal of the game.

Nevertheless, Derry were back level by the break (0-6 to 1-3) with two quick points from Áine Barton and another from Anna Cassidy.

Within 90 seconds of the re-start, both goalkeepers had brought off fine saves, but over the next quarter of an hour Antrim pushed into a three-point lead once more with three scores from Dervla Cosgrove.

Points from Áine Barton and Aimee Lennon reduced the gap, but the Saffrons finished strongly with points from Sarah Fyfe, Róisín McCormick (free) and two from sub Cassie McArthur to claim their 49th title.

Apart from the title at stake, Antrim set down a marker ahead of the meeting of the pair in the first round of the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Championship in a fortnight.