McGourty magic helps steer Down into National Camogie League quarter-final after six-point win over Derry

Catherine McGourty’s sharpness in the Down goals helped deny Derry and book her side's place in the National Camogie League quarter-finals Picture: Inpho
Catherine McGourty’s sharpness in the Down goals helped deny Derry and book her side's place in the National Camogie League quarter-finals Picture: Inpho

Littlewoods National Camogie League Division 2: Down 3-16 Derry 0-19

DOWN are through to next month’s quarter-finals in the Littlewoods Division Two National league following a six-points win over Derry in Castlewellan on Saturday.

Derry still have to play Antrim in the final game in the group, but need to defeat the Saffrons by a clear five points to join Down in the knock-out stages.

However in defeat the Oak Leaf will have been heartened by the performance. It was their first outing of the season and they hit 19 points away from home against the All-Ireland champions despite half the team making their debut at this level.

Indeed they created three goal chances during the second half, but Catherine McGourty’s sharpness denied them goals and the Ballycran veteran probably was Player of the Match.

At the other end it was the Down goals that made the difference in a game that was always entertaining.

The first came after 15 minutes with good work on the left wing resulting in a ground ball across the centre that Lauren Clarke pulled to an empty net. That put the home side 1-4 to 0-4 ahead.

Paula O’Hagan and Karen Kielt each pointed four times during the second quarter before a crucial second goal for Down when O’Hagan intercepted a clearance and sent a high ball into the goal area for Niamh Mallon to flick beyond Niamh Gribbin

Although Karen Kielt responded with a point from a 45, Derry were still 2-10 to 0-11 behind at half-time.

The visitors came out strongly for the first half and points from Kielt (two frees) and Aoife Shaw closed the gap to two points. However a move that started with Catherine McGourty saw the sliotar worked through Aimee McAleenan and Niamh Mallon for Sara Louise Graffin to blast to the net.

From then until the end Down were able to maintain a gap of six points.

Down: C McGourty; C Caldwell, K McMullan, D Harrison; B Fitzpatrick, D Magee, A Keown (0-1); P O’Hagan (0-8, 0-6 frees), C Cowan; S McCartan (0-1), D Savage (0-1), A McAleenan, SL Graffin (1-0), N Mallon (1-3), L Clarke (1-1).

Subs: C Rocks for A McAleenan, C Fitzpatrick (0-1) for C Cowan, R Smyth for D Magee, I O’Hare for D Savage

Derry: N Gribbin; S Magill, O McGuigan, C Ní Mhianáin; M Kerr (0-1), A Ní Chaiside, L McKenna; Á McAllister, D O’Kane; M McNicholl (0-4), A Shaw (0-1), C Glass; S Mellon (0-1), K Kielt (0-10, 0-9 frees), J Donnelly.

Subs: R Cassidy for L McKenna (20), C Gunning for J Donnelly (h-t), E McGuigan (0-2) for C Glass (40), E Wilson for C Ní Mhianáin (55)

Referee: Gavin Donegan (Dublin)

Division 1 round-up

TIPPERARY recovered from last week’s defeat by Cork to blow Waterford away with a stunning first-half in Clonmel that gave them a 14 points’ advantage at half time. The result more or less guarantees them a quarter-final in the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division One.

Meanwhile Gráinne Egan shot 3-5 as Offaly recorded their most significant victory in a number of years in beating Dublin 4-7 to 1-14. The result puts Dublin into relegation trouble despite an encouraging display against Kilkenny last week.

Limerick also booked their berth in at least the quarter-finals after beating Clare by 2-14 to 1-11 in Ennis, Caoimhe Costelloe setting them on their way with an early goal for. Eimear Kelly gave her side a sliver of hope with a goal in the 54th minute, finishing from a tight angle but Limerick were still able to see out the game comfortably.


Littlewoods National Camogie League

Division 1

Tipperary 2-16 Waterford 0-11

Dublin 1-14 Offaly 4-7

Clare 1-11 Limerick 2-14

Division 2

Down 3-16 Derry 0-19

Galway 2-14 Tipperary 2-7

Cork 2-14 Kerry 0-5

Kilkenny 1-10 Laois 0-7

Kildare 4-12 Dublin 2-11

Westmeath 3-7 Meath 0-12

Division 3

Wexford 1-11 Down 1-5

Carlow 3-10 Limerick 1-16

Clare 3-11 Waterford 1-9

Division 4

Wicklow 2-10 Tyrone 4-15

Antrim 3-4 Cavan 5-22

Mayo 1-14 Kildare 0-4

Louth 0-1 Roscommon 4-21