Antrim travelled to Mucklagh, Tullamore on Sunday to play their 3 rd National League match against Offaly. After a two point defeat away to Leitrim and a home win against Louth, Antrim needed to get something from this game before their remaining home fixtures against Limerick and Kilkenny.
A breeze going up the field meant Antrim would have a slight advantage in the first half. It wasn’t long before they registered their first score with Claire Timoney kicking over form 30 yards. The Antrim girls would continue to dominate the first half, and with an intense pressure on the Offaly kick outs, the home side had little response.To their credit Offaly rallied nearing the end of the half and kicked over for their first point of the game. Up front for Antrim it was clear they were going to exploit any weakness in the Offaly defence and goals from Maread Cooper, Claire Timoney, and Caroline Kelly helped the Saffrons to a healthy halftime score of 3-11 to 0-1.
The second half began with a resurgent Offaly taking two points in succession. Changes were made to the Antrim lineout with influential midfielder Catherine Mullan being replaced by club mate Ellen McGrath, who had an equally impressive game. Bronagh Molloy came into corner back and had a fine game on her debut. Scores from Rachel Fulton, Amy McAtamney, Grainne O Brien, and Anna Finnegan insured all Antrim’s forwards continue to impress. Changes for Antrim brought further scores with Helen Ward and Katie McMullan both scoring goals.
Antrim never stopped working for 60 minutes, which was perhaps the most impressive quality from this team who are clearly hungry for success after last years Croke Park appearance. A sterner test will come this Saturday 13 th 12 o clock at Casement Park when Limerick travel north for a repeat of last years All Ireland Final.
Antrim: Ciara McCoy, Geraldine Campbell, Eimear Kelly, Ellen McGrath, Brona McClenaghan, Stephanie Cochrane, Aisling Quinn, Anna Finnegan, Catherine Mullan, Rachel Fulton, Grainne O Brien, Maread Cooper, Caroline Kelly, Claire Timoney, Amy McAtamney
Subs used: Bronagh Molloy for Catherine Mullan, Katie McMullan for Rachel Fulton, Helen Ward fro Maread Cooper.