Minor Camogie Championship Semi-Final

12 May 2016

Creggan 3-11      Carmels 2-13

Oh what drama in Creggan on Sunday evening in this southwest championship derby!

With five minutes to go and five points to the good, Carmels looked all set to be on their way to the minor B championship final.

However, a brace of goals from Maria Carey, the second one coming in injury time, turned the game on its head, giving the Creggan girls a one point victory.

On what was a perfect evening for camogie, Creggan and Carmel’s (an amalgamation of Ahoghill & Portglenone) served up an absolute thriller of a semi-final in the minor ‘B’ competition.

Having been in opposite groups during the round robin pool games, it was a case of 4th placed Creggan from Group A, against 3rd placed Carmels from Group B.

And what am absolute classic the U18 girls of both clubs served up.

Having laid siege to the Creggan defence for most of the first half Carmels made the break through with a goal mid-way through the first half.

Creggan responded with three pointed frees from the stick of Susan McIlwee.

Then from a Carmels free, the ever lively Caitriona Graham who had a superb game throughout, unleashed a ferocious goal ward bound shot, only for Una McKeown to save in spectacular fashion.

When Una’s resultant clearance found Martine McCann, the Creggan mid-fielder made a defence splitting 60 yard solo run before striking to the Carmels net.

While Carmels continued to stroke over a number of excellent scores from play, Creggan managed to keep in touch throughout the first half, from the dead ball frees of Susan McIlwee.

At the break, Carmels were good value for their 1-06 to 1-05, one point half time lead.

Although turning to play against the breeze, it was Carmels who turned up the tempo and took the game by the scruff of the neck.

In a pulsating second half, it was score for score, but going into the final quarter of the game, Carmels put daylight between themselves and Creggan scoring an unanswered 1-02.

With only 5 minutes left on the clock Carmels were now in the driving seat and looked like running out comfortable winners.

However, a long delivery found Dearbhla McCann, who flicked a super ball through to the waiting Maria Carey, who fired to the back of the Carmels net.

And then in in the dying embers of the game, Maria hand passed the winning goal.

Heart break at the end for Carmels who really had played a superb game of championship camogie and who had stars all over the field.

Bronagh Graffin had a superb game in goals while Sephora O’Connell, Mairead McCloskey, Una Doherty and Niamh McKee were outstanding in defence.

Maura Downey and Ellen Dougan put in a great shift at midfield.

In the Carmels attack, Aine Graham, Catherine Murray, Laura McAleese and Caitriona Graham caused the Creggan defence all sorts of problems.

For the winners, Niamh Allen in goals, Una McKeown, Alisha McAuley and Sile Murray were in great form in defence.

At midfield Martine McCann (1-0) and Susan McIlwee (0-8, 0-7 frees) worked very hard.

Caoimhe McAteer (0-1), Mya Quinn (0-2), Maria Carey (2-0) and Dearbhla McCann were the Creggan forwards who were on song.

Having easily accounted for Creggan in their Group A round robin pool game two weeks ago, Dunloy will go into the final as firm favourites.