Hurling & Camogie

Crosserlough look to put appeal drama behind them in semi-final showdown with Granemore

The experience of players like Erinn Galligan will be key as Crosserlough face Armagh champions Granemore for a place in the Ulster junior club final
The experience of players like Erinn Galligan will be key as Crosserlough face Armagh champions Granemore for a place in the Ulster junior club final The experience of players like Erinn Galligan will be key as Crosserlough face Armagh champions Granemore for a place in the Ulster junior club final

Camogie

AIB Ulster Junior A Club semi-final: Saturday 1pm in Granemore: Granemore (Armagh) v Crosserlough (Cavan)

IF you are a Crosserlough player, it must feel as if you have had to come through a second quarter-final last weekend.

On the last Saturday of October they beat Glen, by a point. However the Derry champions appealed that decision to Ulster Council and there was an anxious wait for the Cavan team over last weekend before they discovered that the quarter-final result stood and that they now face Granemore today. The winner will go through to a new Ulster final date of December 3 where they meet Antrim champions Brídíní Óga, Glenravel.

Both teams have had close shaves in their last competitive outing, that Ulster quarter-final for Crosserlough while Granemore needed a point in the fourth minute of injury time in the Athletic Grounds to end Ballymacnab’s three year reign at the top in Armagh.

The home side depend a lot on Rachael Merry for scores while Crosserlough, winners of back-to-back Ulster titles in 2017-18 have a more experienced side led by Erinn Galligan, Áine and Ciara Finnegan at the back, Niamh Reilly, the Smiths and Sinéad McKenna up front.

The Cavan side should progress to the final.

AIB Ulster Junior B semi-finals: Naomh Treasa Dungannon v Culloville (Armagh); Clontibet (Monaghan) v Lacken (Cavan) (today, 1pm)

AROUND this time last year Naomh Treasa from Dungannon set off on a journey that would bring them maiden provincial and national titles at this level. That was the 2020 championship that lay dormant until the end of the 2021 season.

The 2021 season then picked up at the beginning of this year and lo and behold Naomh Treasa’s successors as Tyrone champions, Derrylaughan, retained the Ulster title but lost the All-Ireland final.

Mind you Naomh Treasa lived on the edge as they made that epic journey this time last year. They beat the then Armagh champions Aghagallon by 3-3 to 1-6 in the semi-final and then took out Lacken of Cavan in the final by 1-5 to 0-7. The Tyrone side might well be following a similar path over the next couple of weekends.

However the Culloville side that they face in Dungannon today are also survivors. In the Armagh final a month ago they trailed Derrynoose for much of the game, but pulled out an injury time goal to win by 5-10 to 2-16.

That high scoreline contrasts with all the final tallies from Dungannon’s games at this level last year and suggests that the south Armagh side are in with a real chance of making the final.

However, it would be foolish to dismiss Naomh Treasa as they have the experience of last year to draw on although they tend to rely a lot on Róisín McErlean to spearhead their scoring.

If Culloville can negate McErlean’s influence on the game and get their forward division shooting as they did in the Armagh final, they will have a great chance of making the final.

Lacken were very disappointed to lose to Naomh Treasa last year and will feel that they can do better this time around.

The form-book suggests that they should beat Clontibret as last year’s Cavan champions Castletara had a good bit to spare against them when they met at the semi-final stage.

Cavan inter-county players Rosie Crowe-McKeever and Eimear Brady should prove too difficult for a young inexperienced Clontibret team.