Saturday 13th March saw Antrim  and Limerick meet again in what was a repeat of last years Junior All Ireland Final. 

Antrim have been impressive so far this campaign and wanted to make sure of a semi-final spot in this years National League play-offs.  There was a breeze blowing towards the motorway end, and Antrim played with the wind in the first half.  A very slow start meant the spectators would have to wait a full 11 minutes before the first score was registered.  It came in the form of a free by Claire Timoney.  Limerick responded with a well worked score and it was very evident that this would be a battle to the end.  The Antrim defence would not be broken and fullback Bridget Scullion made sure Ciara McCoys goal would not be penetrated.  It seemed all the possession and work was being done by Antrim, but countless squandered chances meant Limerick would stay in touch.  Further first half scores from Timoney, Maread Cooper and Aoife Montague insured Antrim would stay ahead as the half time approached.  A blistering goal from mid-fielder Anna Finnegan put further daylight between the teams, and Antrim lead at the break 1-5 to 4 points.

Limerick changed keepers at half time and with little between the sides it was expected they would fight hard to close the gap.  Antrim showed the benefits of half time.  Their work rate and attitude improved as the half continued.  Limerick would not score for 14 minutes of the second half as Antrim began to find their feet.  Second half scores from Amy McAtamney, Claire Timoney and two frees from Aoife Montague were followed up by a goal from Maeve McCurdy.  Limerick would score only once more from play as Antrim ran out winners 2-9 to 0-7.  Chances are the two might meet again in the league semi-final.  Im sure with both sides having players coming back from long term absences, it will make for another battle between the two sides who now know each other particularly well. 

 

Antrim:  C.McCoy, G.Campbell, B.Scullion, E.McGrath, B.McClenaghan, S.Cochrane, A.Quinn

C.Mullan, A.Finnegan(1-0), A.Montague(0-3 2f), C.Kelly(0-1), M.Cooper, A McAtamney(0-1), C.Timoney(0-4), M.McCurdy(1-0)