McArthur leads Antrim to Ulster minor final victory over Derry
ULSTER Minor Camogie Championship final: Derry 0-4 Antrim 7-8
ANTRIM handed out a camogie lesson to Derry in Celtic Park on Sunday with full-forward and captain Cassie McArthur punishing the home team with six of the best.
However it was the team play from the Saffrons that really impressed; a defence that was determined not to give away scores, an industrious middle third and then a full-forward line that allowed McArthur to get possession in space and turn the screw on Derry.
Janie McIntosh, the younger of two sisters in midfield for Antrim, picked up player of the match, but it could well have gone to her sister Faye or indeed the impressive McArthur on the edge of the square.
The Oak Leaf cailíní probably had their best spell during the second quarter when they pressurised the middle third and held Antrim to a single point from Eimear Johnston. However they never really threatened the Antrim defence during that spell, with free-taker Orlaith Hull accounting for all three Derry points before the break.
McArthur opened the scoring with her first goal in the 3rd minute after a penetrating run from Faye McIntosh and added a point a minute later. Eavanne Martin and Clodagh McPeake also added points before Orlaith Hull landed two points from dead balls for the home side.
McPeake then played in a lovely weighted pass that allowed McArthur to run on to and flick to the net. There was only a further point for each team before the break and Antrim led by 2-4 to 0-3 at the change of ends.
Whatever plans Derry had for the second period were blown out of the water immediately on the re-start with Faye McIntosh winning the throw-in and driving the sliotar to McArthur to again flick to the net with just seven seconds gone.
Another McIntosh sister Elen had entered the game at the break and she drove through the centre to play in McArthur for her fourth goal in the 32nd minute. Katie Molloy made it 5-5 to 0-3 in the 42nd minute when her free from inside her own half went all the way to the Derry net.
She also delivered the pass for the fifth McArthur goal seven minutes later and five minutes from time, the Antrim captain brought her personal tally to six goals and two points when she again found the net.
A comprehensive victory then for Antrim who retain the title and lift the cup for the 11th time since 2006.
Antrim: L Mulholland; A Donnelly, A McNeill, N Neeson; E Coulter, K Molloy (1-0 free), S Fyfe; F McIntosh, J McIntosh (0-1); E Johnston (0-1), E Martin (0-1), C Connolly; C McPeake (0-1), C McArthur (6-2), A McKillop
Subs: E McIntosh (0-1) for C Connolly (h-t), S Woodhouse (0-1) for E Johnston (39), A Kane for A Donnelly (48), N Graham for A McKillop (53), E O'Neill for L Mulholland (53).
Derry: S Donnelly; R Draine, M McCloskey, N Boyle; R Nic Ainmhire, C Kealey, E Kelly; E Doherty, K Connery; M Doran, C Kearney, E Doyle; O Hull (0-4, 0-3 frees), A Hastings, E McErlean.
Subs: R Keenan for A Hastings (35), B McLaughlin for E Doyle (35), T Burns for M Doran (42), O Mullan for M McCloskey (50), R Comer for N Boyle (54).
Referee: Philip McDonald (Cavan)