Dobbin goals put Antrim in command in derby win over Down in National Camogie League opener
Very National Camogie League Division 1B: Antrim 5-14 Down 0-14
ANTRIM started and finished the first half of this opening Division 1B game in Portglenone with goals from Caitrin Dobbin. In between those scores however Down dominated and Niamh Mallon picked off nine points.
Indeed Down recovered well from that Dobbin goal in the fourth minute and were fully deserving of the 0-11 to 1-4 lead that they took into injury time before the Loughgiel corner-forward hit gold for the second time.
The visitors were in control at half-back and Mallon hit the target on five occasions in the first ten minutes before Róisín McCormick took Antrim’s second score from a free.
Down then hit the next five points, all from play, with Sara Louise Graffin’s strike followed by four excellent points from Mallon. There was a slight breeze in Down’s favour, but the run of scores had more to do with their dominance in general play than using the long ball.
Antrim recovered a bit towards the end of the half and fired over three points before Dobbin’s goal.
After the break, the Saffrons were much more physical and their full-forward line of Dobbin, McCormick and Cassie McArthur (two) picked off the opening four points. They were then awarded a penalty and McCormick fired to the net.
The next six scores were divided between Mallon (three frees) and McCormick (two frees) and Dobbin before Antrim took off on another spurt around ten minutes from time, scoring 2-3 without reply. The goals came from Ballycastle pair Niamh Cosgove, direct from a long range free, and substitute Fionnuala Kelly deep in injury time.
Elsewhere in the group Beth Carton shot 2-14 as Waterford defeated Offaly by 4-22 to 1-9 while Wexford overcame Limerick by 0-13 to 0-10.
The Ulster teams are in action on Saturday against the two losing teams; Antrim have to travel to Limerick, while Down will host Offaly in Liatroim.
Antrim: C Graham, C Patterson, E Kearns, M Lynn, A Boyle, C Conlon, N Cosgrove (1-1, 1-0 free), S Graham, L McNaughton, K McKillop (0-1), S McKillop (0-1), Á Magill, R McCormick (1-5, 1-0 pen, 0-5 frees), C McArthur (0-3), C Dobbin (2-2)
Subs: F Kelly (1-1) for E Kearns (HT), M McKillen for Á Magill (41), M McGarry for C Patterson (49)
Down: M McNally, A Mallon, B Fitzpatrick, R Smyth, B Savage, D Magee, A Savage, C McGilligan, O Boyle, SL Graffin (0-2), N Mallon (0-12, 7 frees), D Savage, C Fitzsimons, A McAleenan, L Clarke.
Referee: G Donaghy (Dublin)
Very National Camogie League
Cork 3-17 Dublin 0-5
Tipperary 4-9 Galway 1-9
Clare v Kilkenny
Antrim 5-14 Down 0-14
Wexford 0-13 Limerick 0-10
Offaly 1-9 Waterford 4-22
Derry 2-13 Cavan 1-7
Kerry 0-9 Westmeath 1-6
Laois 2-6 Meath 2-7