Hurling & Camogie

Derry hang on to win back Ulster minor camogie title

The Oak Leaf side denied Antrim a four successive title

Derry minor camogs
Derry minor camogs Derry players celebrate victory over Antrim in Swatragh yesterday PICTURE: MARGARET McLAUGHLIN (Margaret McLaughlin Photography )

Armagh City Hotel Ulster Minor Camogie Championship final Derry 3-10 Antrim 3-8

DERRY closed a four-year gap to claim their Ulster minor title in Swatragh yesterday despite being pinned back into their own half for most of the second half.

Indeed, when Antrim took a lead of four points with a brilliant solo goal from Kady McNeill quickly followed by a point from Aimee Ferris that just skimmed over the bar, Derry’s bid to stop a Saffron four-in-a-row looked over.

However, a goal from Leah Cassidy in the 42nd minute, combined with a red card for Antrim’s Shanna Deery a few minutes later, threw the Oak Leaf a lifeline that they gratefully accepted.

Derry looked the better team in the first half despite dropping 0-4 to 0-2 behind after 11 minutes, two of those points coming from Deery.

By the end of the first quarter, Carla Collins had hit the target four times to level the game and then Conla Kerr’s cross from the right wing fell for Connie McBride to find the net.

Although Collins brought her tally to seven five minutes from the break, two goals from Katie McCloskey pulled Antrim right back into the frame and Derry had to face the breeze with just a single point advantage, 1-8 to 2-4.

Mary McArthur levelled from a free on the re-start before McNeill excellent solo goal. Ferris added a point that could easily have been a goal and the Saffrons were on top.

However, they gave away some possession rather cheaply and then were caught when Collins’ free from distance was blocked into the path of Cassidy to hit the net.

The red-card offence was punished by Collins’ only score of the second half. Although Dearbhail McAulfield responded after a good run from Katie McCloskey the pivotal score came 10 minutes from time with Jemma Shivers bursting forward. Her shot from 35 metres dipped into the Antrim net.

The holders responded with a McCloskey point that could also have hit the net and pushed hard for the remainder of the game.

However, Derry were beginning to make use of the extra player and they held out with Aoibh Mulholland finishing the scoring right on the final whistle.

Derry C Collins 0-8 (0-6f); J Shivers 1-1; C McBride & L Cassidy 1-0 each; A Mulholland 0-1

Antrim K McCloskey 2-0; K McNeill 1-1; M McArthur (2f) & S Derry 0-2 each; É McAllister, D McAulfield & A Ferris 0-1 each