Saturday , 19 April 2014
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Armagh u/16 team were out in action on Saturday in the Ulster cup semi-final against the formidable camogie county Antrim. The Orchard girls had trained hard. They knew they had a mountain to climb but were well up for the challenge. Although wrote off by many before the game even started, Armagh were still determined to give it their best shot no matter what.
Ref John Devlin (Co Tyrone) got the game underway and Antrim started strong as expected and having saw an opening they took their chances and netted the sliothar twice in the opening 10 minutes thanks to Catrin Dobbin. Armagh were putting in some strong attacks but were finding it difficult to break through and take their scores. Until Jane Maguire made a great hand pass to Hannah Gray straight in front of the gaols and Hannah took her opportunity to score Armagh’s first well deserved goal. But they didn’t get long to celebrate as Antrim counter attacked and Sarah Vaughan soon netted the ball for them to leave the scores 9-3 in points.
Again Antrim were being rewarded with scoreswhere Armagh weren’t getting any breaks. Another three points in succession two from the hurl of Catrin Dobbin and one from Kirsty McLeod, before in the 20th minute saw Armagh’s Emma McGuigan shake the back of the Antrim nets with a beautifully struck goal. Armagh were working hard all over the pitch and really deserved more points on the board than they had. Another point from Armagh’s Hannah Gray lifted the team but Antrim were awarded a free then a 45 which their free taker Johanna McKeown had no bother converting into points to see them go into a 3:5 to Armagh 2:1 at half time.
The second half got underway with a free converted into a point once again by Johanna McKeown. Armagh upped their pace and intensity, they had the skills and had most of the possession in this half. Great scores by Hannah Gray and two lovely hard faught for points by Aiobheann O Hare saw Armagh’s confidence increase. But the Antrim girls and management weren’t going to let anything take them down and scoring three more points before the final whistle blew saw antrim progress into the final of this Ulster u/16 cup as expected. Armagh had faught the brave fight but were runners up on this occasion.
Credit must go to all the players and their management who have worked tirelessly in preparation for this game and although the scores didn’t materialize there was some tremendous skilful camogie played on the day. The development work in Armagh camogie over the past number of years is plain to be seen and is certainly showing itself. With some strong foundation blocks have being laid for the future Armagh teams to build on. Armagh can hold their heads high after their gutsy performance.
Final score: Armagh 2:4 Antrim 3:9
Special thanks to the Ballymacnab club for hosting this game and for the lovely refreshments they served everyone afterwards. It was much appreciated.

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