Antrim blow Derry away to claim first league points.

Antrim 8-19-1-06 Derry

By Kevin Herron


Antrim ladies got off to a fantastic start in their Tesco HomeGrown NFL Division four campaign after thumping neighbours Derry 8-19-1-06 at the Dub on Sunday afternoon.

It was Antrim’s first competitive game under the new management of Dominic Kelly and Frank Hasson and the Rasharkin duo couldn’t have asked for a better start to their tenure.

The Saffron’s were off the mark less than a minute gone, Rachael Fulton was the recipient of the ball after a quick passing move and Fulton drove the ball over the bar to put the home side a point ahead. Fulton added her second point three minutes later, before Aine Tubridy and Claire Timoney added to Fulton’s points to make it 0-04-0-00 after five minutes.

Antrim stretched their lead further with the first goal of the game on six minutes. Paula Matherson switched the play to half back Cathy Carey; Carey took a touch and floated the ball over Derry keeper Tomaisina McGovern into the net to make it 1-04-0-00. 

Some of Antrim’s first half play was quite breathtaking as the Saffron ladies moved the ball about with ease. Wing half forward Hanna Doherty contributed to Antrim’s lead with three points inside of three minutes, with Claire Timoney adding a further two points to her account for the afternoon to make it 1-09-0-00.

Antrim’s second goal of the day arrived on eleven minutes. Rachael Fulton received the ball just outside the area and made space, before blasting the ball past McGovern in the Derry goal to make it 2-09-0-00.

Fulton added Antrim’s next score with a point on 14 minutes, before Derry were handed an opportunity to pull a goal back. Rachel Walls was upended inside the Antrim area and referee Brian McCallion signalled for a penalty. Kayleigh Flemming took responsibility for the kick after a delay in the injured Wall’s leaving the field, but Flemming could on watch on in horror as her kick went high and wide of Danielle Connelly’s goal.

Flemming should have atoned for her error a minute later, but Danielle Connelly came out and made herself strong to block the full forwards goal bound shot. At the other end of the field Hanna Doherty and Claire Timoney added further points to put Antrim 2-12-0-00 in front.

Derry finally registered their first point of the afternoon after 21 minutes, referee Brian McCallion awarded the visitors a free in front of the posts and Ciara Moore converted to make it 2-12-0-01.

Claire Timoney added a further point, before Antrim went goal crazy. Paula Matherson should have hit Antrim’s third after intercepting a pass from Hanna Doherty, though Derry keeper McGovern parried the ball only as far as Shannon Graham who hammered the loose ball into the roof of the net to make it 3-13-0-01 after 23 minutes.

A minute later an error from the Derry shot stopper lead to Antrim working the ball across the face of the Derry goal and into apply the finish was Helen Ward who blasted home to make it 4-13-0-01. A minute before the break and Antrim scored their third consecutive goal. Hanna Doherty, who was causing major problems for the Derry defence; picked up the ball around 25-yards from goal and lofted ball over Tomaisina McGovern to make it 5-13-0-01.

Antrim ended the half with a further two scores, this time points from Helen Ward and Abigail Carleton, as Antrim went in at the half time interval with the score 5-15-0-01.

Within four minutes of the restart Antrim picked up where they left off. Helen Ward was adjudged to have been fouled in the area and for the second time in the game Brian McCallion signalled for a penalty. Claire Timoney took responsibility for the kick and blasted it low into the corner of the net past Tomaisina McGovern to make it 6-15-0-01.

Less than a minute later McGovern was picking the ball out the back of her net once more. Claire Timoney raced onto the loose ball outside the Derry area and coolly dinked the ball over the advancing goal keeper to make it 7-15-0-01.

Both sides then traded points. Kayleigh Flemming hit Derry’s second point of the afternoon, before Rachael Fulton turned and fired over in response.

Claire Timoney completed a sensational second half hat-trick eleven minutes into the second half. Timoney let fly with an outrageous attempt from the right hand side and managed to beat McGovern all ends up, making the score 8-16-0-02.

Both sides again traded scores in the aftermath of the goal, with Hanna Doherty pointing for the Saffron’s, before Nuala Browne converted a free for Derry.

Derry should have found the net on 47 minutes; Erin Murray went through on goal, only to be denied by Danielle Connelly who made a great block to deny the Derry substitute. Instead it was Antrim substitute Kirsty McGuiness who would be next on the scoresheet. McGuiness fired over two points within a minute of each other to make it 8-19-0-03 with five minutes remaining.

Despite the result being beyond doubt, Derry finished the game strongly. Nuala Browne hit three unanswered points to put a bit of pride back in the Derry jersey. Browne almost found the net with two minutes to go, only for Connelly in the Antrim goal to turn away the dipping shot. Connelly was finally beaten by the visitors in injury time. Despite making a good block from Kayleigh Flemming, Connelly couldn’t hold onto the ball and Erin Murray swopped in to blast home from close range and ensure a bit of respectability on the scoreboard, 8-19-1-06. No sooner had Danielle Connelly kicked the ball out, referee Brian McCallion sounded his final whistle.

It was a quite comfortable day at the office for the new Antrim management who will be delighted with the comfortable win, but will know there will be tougher games ahead.

Antrim will be on the road next week, with an away match against Wicklow and they will be hoping that the ladies can show some of their clinical finishing against their southern opposition.

Antrim : D Connelly, T Ni Mhurchu, E Kelly, J McCavana, S McLoughlin, C Carey, B Scullion, A Tubridy, S Graham, P Matherson, C Timoney, H Doherty, R Fulton, H Ward, A Carleton. Subs: N Kelly, K McGuiness, K Campbell, M McGourty, C Mallon, C McCallum, C Moane, C McBarron, L McCann, G Laverty, L O’Neill, T O’Neill, N O’Neill.

Derry: T McGovern, R Conway, C McGurk, R Doherty, D Kivlehan, B Lowry, A Groogan, D Donnelly, S McCrystal, C Moore, R Wells, C Donaghy, A Fullen, K Flemming, N Browne. Subs: E Quinn, E Murray, M Hegarty, A Crozier, K-M Hegarty, E McGurk, C Moran, K Holly, L Murphy, N Murphy. 


Kelly: “It was a good run out for us”

By Kevin Herron (PRO )

Antrim ladies co-manager Dominic Kelly was very pleased with his sides display in their Tesco HomeGrown NFL Division Four win over Derry.

The Saffron’s struck 8-19 in an impressive 34 points win over their Ulster neighbours at the Dub on Sunday afternoon and Kelly said that all is positive in the camp.

“It was a good run out for us there. Thankfully we got the right result and we were able to use everybody on the panel, so it was a good day all round. All positive, so it’s a case of moving on next week against our opponents”.

Although Antrim’s eight goals may look well, Kelly said he was more impressed with the points tally and hopes that they can produce more of the same next week, albeit in a much tougher encounter.

“I would imagine next week will be a tougher game against Wicklow. It was great to see the goals go in, but we scored just as many points which is equally as pleasing. It turned out to be very easy in the second half and it was good to see us scoring points rather than just going for goals all the time, but certainly next week will be a tougher game for us, so it’s all good so far”.

Antrim’s comprehensive lead at the break meant that the management were able to change the majority of their squad and try out new things. This is something which Kelly was pleased with ahead of next week’s game with Wicklow.

“It was, that was the first time we seen everybody in action. We played two friendly games against Jordanstown, so we seen most of the panel, but there was four girls left that we hadn’t seen and as I say we got using everybody there today. Everyone’s getting a fair chance, if you’re at training you’re up for selection, so it’s good to see everybody up today and hopefully we can push forward to next week”.