Antrim and Derry clubs set up Bridie McMenamin Shield decider
Bridie McMenamin Shield semi-finals: Ruairí Óg (Antrim) 3-7 Éire Óg (Tyrone) 1-6; Ballerin (Derry) 6-15 East Belfast (Down) 1-2
FOR the fourth successive year, the Bridie McMenamin Shield final will feature a Derry v Antrim combination after both Saturday’s semi-finals in Ballerin and Cushendall threw up home wins.
Monique O’Boyle scored three goals in the opening 13 minutes in Cushendall and that simply left their visitors, Éire Óg from Carrickmore with far too much to do.
Aoibhinn Daly opened the scoring for Éire Óg from a free, but strikes from O’Boyle in the 5th, 7th and 13th minutes all came before Daly notched her second point.
O’Boyle finished the opening half with 3-1 beside her name and her team led by 3-4 to three frees from Daly.
Carrickmore were awarded a penalty in the first minute of the second half and Daly blasted it past Cailin Quinn. However they couldn’t manage to capitalise on that early start as the game became a battle in the middle third and Cushendall eased their way to a seven points’ victory.
Up in Ballerin, the home side enjoyed a far more emphatic victory over East Belfast. The Derry champions led by 2-10 to 1-1 at the break with both goals coming from former county star Sinéad Faulkner in the opening eight minutes.
Nicole Clerkin hit a goal for the Down champions in the 21st minute, but, despite the best efforts of goalie Niamh Dolan, centre half back Ciara Mathers and attack leader Laura Watterson, they struggled to contain Ballerin.
Faulkner completed her hat-trick in the 42nd minute while Caoimhe Higgins found the net before and after that goal. Faulkner then added a late sixth goal for the Sarsfield’s who will face Cushendall in the final on Saturday afternoon.
Ruairí Óg: M O’Boyle 3-1, L Haughey 0-4 (frees), Niamh Conlon 0-2.
Éire Óg: A Daly 1-6 (1-0 penalty, 0-5 frees).
Ballerin: S Faulkner 4-2, C Higgins 2-7 (0-5 frees), C Moore 0-5, Rhianna Doherty 0-1.
East Belfast: N Clerkin 1-0, A Tracey 0-1, Ciara Mathers 0-1 (free)