Galway and Antrim claim All-Ireland Minor titles
24 April 2017
By Daragh Ó Conchúir
GALWAY waltzed to their second All-Ireland Minor A Camogie title, producing a thunderous second-half performance in which they kept Clare scoreless on their way to a 4-14 to 0-6 victory at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh.
Clare were the victims when the Galway last took the honours in 2010 after a replay and this loss is the Banner County’s fourth in a final since the introduction of the U18 grade in 2006.
There was no hint of the one-sided nature the affair would eventually become in the first half, and Clare trailed by just 1-5 to 0-6 at half time but they conceded four goals in the second half to leave their hopes in tatters.
Laura Foley had three points for the Munster representatives and Aoife Power two but Mairéád Dillon’s goal in the 15th minute proved the difference between the sides.
Ciara Helebert hit Galway’s second major after 41 minutes and that appeared to knock the stuffing out of their opponents. Carrie Dolan and Siobhán McGrath kept the scoreboard ticking over and hard though Clare goalkeeper Ciara McCarthy tried, there was little she could do to hold the relentless Maroons at bay.
Dolan hand-passed to the net from a rebound after McCarthy made a good save nine minutes from the end of regulation time and she repeated the trick in injury time, again showing her predatory instincts after another McCarthy stop.
Antrim claimed the B championship for a second time too and remarkably, they also managed to keep the opposition scoreless in the latter period before winning 1-11 to 2-5 at the Inniskeen Grattans grounds in Monaghan.
The Lilywhites led by 2-5 to 0-4 at the change of ends, thanks to goals from Caoimhe Maher and Caoimhe Shanahan and three points from Leah Sutton, but Antrim’s defence took over the resumption.
And the forwards did their part too, benefiting from an increased supply to turn things around in their favour.
Maeve Kelly plundered the vital goal that separated the sides at the death but Antrim had scoring options everywhere, and finished with eight individual scorers.
Róisin McCormick was the top scorer with four points but Áine Devlin, Emily Falloon, Méadhbh McCormick, Charley McCarry, Kirsty McKendry and Caoimhe Wright also found the target and with Kildare firing blanks at the other end, that was enough to get them over the line.