Hurling & Camogie

Loughgiel to face Dicksboro after emphatic Ulster final win over Liatroim

Loughgiel joint-captains Christine Laverty and Una McNaughton hoist aloft the trophy after yesterday’s win over Liatroim		Picture: Seamus Loughran
Loughgiel joint-captains Christine Laverty and Una McNaughton hoist aloft the trophy after yesterday’s win over Liatroim Picture: Seamus Loughran Loughgiel joint-captains Christine Laverty and Una McNaughton hoist aloft the trophy after yesterday’s win over Liatroim Picture: Seamus Loughran

AIB Ulster Club Senior Camogie Championship final

Loughgiel (Antrim) 0-20 Liatroim (Down) 0-3

LOUGHGIEL’S greater pace, power and above all experience at this level saw them collect a second successive Ulster senior title at the expense of Liatroim Fontenoys yesterday.

Loughgiel have six provincial titles, their current run of 10 successive finals now book-ended by two titles at each side.

Their experience over the past decade was evident in the composure they displayed throughout the team with the forwards getting plenty of opportunities to shine.

Down were upgraded to senior level this season after Clonduff had won their second intermediate title in Croke Park last year and it was obvious from the throw-in yesterday that there is a gap to be closed at the higher grade.

The Fontenoys were pinned into their own half for the duration of the opening half with Dearbhla Magee, their main scoring threat, operating as a sweeper. They didn’t help their situation by being penalised time and again for hand-pass fouls, especially during the first 20 minutes when they were trying to get a foot-hold in the game.

Caitrín Dobbin scored on a breakaway in the first minute and Loughgiel had moved four ahead by the end of the first quarter.

Four points within four minutes from Róisín McCormick (three) and Dobbin doubled that and the Shamrocks finished the half with the three late scores.

They were 0-11 to 0-0 ahead at the break and then added three more through McCormick, Orlagh Laverty and Anna Connolly before Kelly Duffin opened the Down side’s account after 38 minutes with a point.

Liatroim kept battling away, Natalie McKibbin and Karen McMullan impressive in their backs-against-the-wall defence, while there were deserved late points for Dearbhla Magee and Aimee McAleenan.

McCormick went on to score 10 points and pick up the player-of-the-match award while her team was in charge in most areas of the pitch.

“That was far from an easy game,” claimed the Loughgiel scoring ace.

“It was very physical out there and there were a few hard hits. Fair play to Liatroim. But they needed a few early scores to get themselves going and they couldn’t get them.

“Senior club is a high level and it was always going to be difficult for any Down side to get up to that level immediately. With a bit of experience they will close the gap.

“When you lose an All-Ireland final by a point or two, you want to get back there. It has been a long enough journey for us, you have to take one game at a time. Now we are just one more game away from it.”

There will be bigger challenges ahead for Loughgiel, with the Leinster champions Dicksboro – who had a 0-12 to 1-7 win over St Vincent’s of Dublin yesterday – the next obstacle on December 2.

Yesterday was merely a step to realising that dream.

Loughgiel E Boyle, C Campbell, Ciara Laverty, M Lynn, E McFadden, C Boyle, C McKillop, A Boyle (0-1), L McNaughton, Christine Laverty (0-1), A Connolly (0-1), R McCormick (0-10, 0-4 frees), C Dobbin (0-3, 0-1 free) A Lynn (0-3), O Laverty (0-1)

Subs Ú McNaughton for O Laverty (51), A McKillop for C Boyle (51), M McGarry for A Lynn (57), F McVeigh for M Lynn (59), K McKillop for R McCormick (60)

Liatroim N O’Toole, O Brown, A Brown capt, S McAleenan, C Davidson, K McMullan, C McAnulty, K Duffin (0-1), R O’Toole, D Magee (0-1), SL Clarke, A McAleenan (0-1), O Blaney, K McAleenan, N McKibbin

Subs A McCrickard for R O’Toole (HT), R Carson for K McAleenan(38), C O’Toole for O Blaney (45), A McElroy for C McAnulty (55), A O’Higgins for SL Clarke (59)

Referee P McDonald (Cavan)