GAA: Camogie champions ease through

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Eoghan Rua, Coleraine began the defence of their Derry senior camogie championship title with a 0-10 to 0-3 win over Kilrea at Slaughtneil last weekend.

While the seven point winning margin looks comfortable it was not a true reflection of the determined effort put up by the Kilrea side. Both teams struggled in the early stages before a three point salvo in as many minutes had Eoghan Rua ahead by the end of the first quarter, Roasanna McAleese, Kelly Maybin and Jane Carey scoring. Two more points, from Rosanna McAleese and Meabh McGoldrick had Coleraine five clear by the 22nd minute.

Kilrea were finding it difficult to break down Eoghan Rua where central defenders Meabh McGoldrick and Maureen Heneghan along with midfielders Jane Carey and Kelly Maybin were in commanding form. In the last ten minutes of the half Kilrea began to make some headway mainly through the efforts of Karen and Kathleen Kielt and Meabh O’Boyle. Two points, both from frees converted by Karen Kielt reduced the gap to just three going into the last five minutes of the half. However, Eoghan Rua got back on track as Grace McMullan pointed a close-in free after she was fouled to give the defending champions a 0-6 to 0-2 half-time lead.

Kilrea put in a tremendous effort in the third quarter but their only reward was a third Karen Kielt point, in the 45th minute, which proved to be their final score of the game. In the 20th minute the Eoghan Rua defence was again under pressure but they stood firm as a double save from goalkeeper Aileen Moore kept Kilrea at bay and that slender three point lead intact.

Certainly the tie was still in the balance but it was a combination of Kilrea’s lack of scoring power up front and solid defending by the champions that had Eoghan Rua in pole position going into the closing minutes. Had Kilrea pushed Karen Kielt further forward, she was outstanding at centre back with her driving runs and long clearances; they might have made it more uncomfortable for the eventual winners in the closing stages. As it was, a tap over free from Meabh McGoldrick extended Eoghan Rua’s lead to four going into the last five minutes before Moore again did well to clear a dangerous ball in from midfield. In added time Eoghan Rua closed the game out with three late points from Clare Tracey, Rosanna McAleese and Meabh McGoldrick.

Eohan Rua minor footballers in narrow championship win

A last minute point earned Eoghan Rua’s Under-18 footballers a quarter final spot in the Derry ‘B’ championship last weekend as they edged out Errigal (Glenullin/Ballerin) 2-8 to 1-10 in a closely contested game throughout. While this was a sporting and hard fought game a brief flare-up midway through the second half seen the Errigal side reduced to 13 players while Eoghan Rua also lost a player due to a minute of indiscipline. The sides were level 0-2 each after eight minutes before a scoring burst seen Errigal move 1-5 to 0-2 clear by the end of the first quarter.

A long ball over the top caught out the Eoghan Rua defence as Jarlath Bradley gathered and shot sweetly to the roof of the net in the tenth minute. The winners missed a couple of chances from frees before they got back in the game with a well taken Eoin McKillop goal after 20 minutesve minutes later had Coleraine in the lead for the first time while Sean Tosh added a point. The goal was well worked as Liam McGoldrick’s ‘45’ found Stephen Coyles down the right, his run and cross from near the end line found Mark Donnelly on the edge of the ‘small square’ to palm to the net. The lead was short lived however as Neill McNicholl pointed in added time to level matters at 2-3 to 1-6 at the break.

The sides exchanged points early in the second half, Paddy Mullan for Coleraine with Jarlath Bradley replying for Errigal. Either side of the flare up which seen three players sent off Eoghan Rua added points from Liam McGoldrick and Stephen Coyles, from a close in free. Errigal responded well to that double strike with two of their own to level matters again with five minutes left. During that spell of pressure Errigal squandered three good chances but they did take the lead again through a Neill McNicholl free with time running out. With a minute left Liam McGoldrick levelled the tie yet again and it looked like it was going to take extra time to settle the issue. Just a minute into time added on Eoghan Rua found a winner as Stephen Coyles got some space in a tiring Errigal defence to sweep over the point to win the tie.

Hurlers denied by late goal

A last minute goal denied Eoghan Rua victory over Loughgiel’s junior team last Thursday evening in a North Antrim league game. A first half hat-trick of goals from Colm McGoldrickrom was just enough to help Eoghan Rua to be on level terms 3-4 to 2-7, with the Loughgiel men. Midway through the second half two points from frees through Anton Rafferty had the home side three clear but with ten minutes left the sides were all square again. Eoghan Rua seemed to have the game won when they two late strikes from Sean Leo McGoldrick frees had them two ahead, 3-10 to 2-11, going into added time. However a goal in added time gave Loughgiel the lead again by the narrowest of margins and Eoghan Rua had no time left to respond to that late strike.

Eoghan Rua scorers: Colm McGoldrick (3-2), Anton Rafferty (0-2 frees), Sean Leo McGoldrick (0-2 frees), Liam Frizelle, Brian Frizelle, Michael Kelly and Conor Carey (0-1) each.

Meanwhile there was no joy for Eoghan Rua’s Under-14 footballers in the championship as they lost narrowly, 3-8 to 2-9, at home to a very good Claudy side last week. Claudy led 2-5 to 1-6, at the break. A goal from Gino McGinn midway through the second half had Coleraine 2-8 to 2-6 ahead but Claudy came back with a goal of their own to go back in front. Going into the last five minutes Devlin Donnelly levelled matters yet again and Coleraine seemed to be on the verge of a shock win. However two late points seen Claudy through as time ran out for the hoe side.

Eoghan Rua scorers: Gino McGinn (2-0), Devlin Donnelly (0-3), Ruari Devine (0-2), Jack O’Connor (0-2), Calum Biggart (0-1), Aidan Boyle (0-1).

Eoghan Rua girls in Croke Park football blitz

Eoghan Rua’s Under-12 and Under-14 girls took to the pitch last week in a ‘Gaelic for Girls’ blitz at GAA headquarters in Croke Park. The Under-14 girls played 4 matches against Kilmacthomas from Waterford, Cobh from Cork, Edgeworthstown from Longford and Carlow Town.

In their first match the girls accounted for Kilmacthomas on a scoreline of 5-5 to no score. Aoife Bradley with 1-2, Shauna Doherty with 4-1 and Anna Morrison and Brenda Grant with a point apiece accounted for all the scores. Cora Lagan dealt with everything needed in goals and the girls were defensively sound with Anna Frizelle, Darcey Kelly and Sarah Moore coping well under pressure. Aoife Boorman was her usual busy self at midfield, helped ably by Brenda Grant and Aoife Bradley. This provided the platform for Shauna Doherty, Leah Dollard and Anna Morrison to combine well to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

In the second match against Carlow Town Anna Frizelle took over in goal. Grace Taylor and Niamh Boorman joined Francesca Watson in defence for this match with Cora Lagan moving to midfield to join Anna Morrison and Aoife Bradley. Niamh Morrison and Caoimhe Hamill came in to the forward line along with Shauna Doherty. Francesca and Niamh Boorman helped create moves from defence. Grace managed to clear any danger that came her way. Cora Lagan did well at midfield and her input along with Anna Morrison and Aiofe Bradley helped create the chances for Niamh Morrison, Caoimhe Hamill and Shauna Doherty.

The third match against Cobh saw more team changes as the girls continued their winning streak. In this match the girls showed some good hand passing passages of play and the revised team selection showed Niamh Boorman go to goal, Sarah Moore recalled to defence with Brenda Grant and Grace Taylor. Francesca Watson moved to midfield with Leah Dollard and Aoife Boorman, and Darcey Kelly joined Niamh Morrison and Caoimhe Hamill in attack. The midfield and defence again performed well and scores from Caoimhe Hamill (0-1), Leah Dollard (0-1), Sarah Moore (0-0) and a fine return of three hand passed points from Niamh Morrison left the Coleraine girls winning on a scoreline of 0-6 to no score.

The final match saw the girls facing their strongest opposition in Edgeworthstown from Longford. Anna Morrison went into goals, with Anna Frizelle moved back into the defence. Here she was joined by Niamh Boorman and Darcey Kelly. The midfield was strengthened with Aoife Bradley and Aoife Boorman joined by Brenda Grant while Shauna Doherty was partnered by Sarah Moore and Cora Lagan in attack. Again the girls did well but were thwarted for any major scores as the Edgeworthston defence and goalkeeper kept a number of efforts out. Points from Shauna Doherty (0-3), Sarah Moore and Brenda Grant, with a point apiece, finished the scoring for the Coleraine side to a reply of 0-1 from their opponents.

Full panel: Cora Lagan, Anna Frizelle, Brenda Grant, Niamh Morrison, Francesca Watson, Grace Taylor, Niamh Boorman, Niamh Bradley, Shauna Doherty, Anna Morrison, Caoimhe Hamill, Sarah Moore, Aoife Boorman, Leah Dollard, Darcey Kelly

Meanwhile the Under-12 Eoghan Rua panel also had a great run out on the green sward of Croke Park where they took on Kilmacthomas from Waterford, Cobh from Cork, Edgeworthstown from Longford and Carlow Town winning two and losing two of their games.

Under 12 panel: Natasha Boorman, Gabrielle Boorman, Aine Devine, Keri Keenan, Naoise Kennedy, Eve Lundy, Aoife Lafferty, Brona McGonigle, Molly McKenna, Cara McLaughlin, Sarah McLaughlin, Carmen Owens, Maria Roantree, Annie Wells, Lucy Wells, Hannah Mullan, Kaitlyn Neely, Aisleen Black, Erin Ferguson