Senior Ladies Championship
Ulster Intermediate Championship –Round2
Monaghan V Antrim Sunday 7th May 2023
Although in R1 Monaghan didn’t come away with any points, they eagerly looked forward to playing Antrim for the very first time in the championship. Aware that Antrim had won the Junior in 2022, it was still expected that Monaghan had the experience and standing to have the edge on the Saffron County.
Monaghan have been competing tightly with Antrim at minor level in the last few years and always coming out on the right side, so it was felt that this competitive advantage wouldprevail in the meeting of the seniors and while Antrim were moving up in the league ranks having beaten Leitrim in the Division 4 decider, it was expected that they were not at the stage yet to trouble Monaghan at this level.
Played on home ground in Aghabog, the weather was bright but breezy which suggested as it panned out that it would be a game of two halves.
The farney ladies were to the fore as they settled first with a fine point by Leanne Maguire. The defence held firm asAntrim went for the return, Jennifer Duffy then directed the charge down the middle as Antrim were forced to stop her and this led to the second point with Chloe McBride putting the free over. Good defending by Monaghan seen Antrim having to resort to some wayward shooting, while at the other end Jodie Mc Quillan fine catch seem the Antrim girls fouling in their bid to stop her, Jodie put the free over herself. Eight minutes had elapsed before Antrim secured the first point with Bronagh Devlin sending over from play. Then at the other end Jodie Mc Quillan put over a second free for a foul on the lively Amy Garland. Both sides were guilty of wides such was the good defensive display by each team until Theresa Mellonsecured another from play and then Antrim added a third point from a placed ball by Orlaith Printer, as the swiftness of attack and defence meant the play was to and fro at speed. Captain Muireann Atkinson was leading her team by pursuing every opportunity and this led to her been fouled with Jodie Mc Quillan putting over the resulting free. Wides by Antrim were mounting up such was the pressure put on by Monaghan, as the latter team were mounting attacks that finally paid off with Muireann Atkinson laying off to Amy Garland to point. In the space of two minutes Monaghan had spotted an opening with Muireann once again pushing forward giving the chance to Leanne Maguire to hit it into the net. At this stage Monaghan were cruising, but a letup in defence seen the dangerous and speedy Maria O’Neill whirl her way through, to put the green flag up for her side. Both midfielders Rosemary Courtney and Muireann Atkinson along with Emma Clerkin and Maeve Monaghan were keeping the Monaghan forward line supplied and this led to a Shauna Coyle point, while a foul on Chloe McBride seen this point come from the lady herself. Antrim had the final say with a Orlaith Printer point as the referee deemed a slow kickout which seen the throwup going in Antrims favour. The half time score seen Monaghan to the good by four points 1-8 to 1-4
Antrim dominated the opening minutes of the second half with attack after a attack wiping out Monaghans lead in the space of five minutes. Three frees in a row from sharpshooter Orlaith Printer and a goal from Theresa Mellon whose shot was the result of several great passages of play that Monaghan couldn’t get to grips with.
Muireann Atkinson steadied the ship with a fine point after great pressure and Chloe Mc Bride put a free over to level matters. Monaghan continued their pressure but it didn’t gain any more results. With the 15 minute mark approaching Antrim began their resurgence once more with a point from midfielder Anne Tubridy. With no let off the Saffrons had another in the net after a quick response to the Monaghan kickout with Maria O’Neill once again the provider. Another three points in a row were put over from Cathy Carey, OrlaithPrinter and and sub Grainne Mc Loughlin who was only on the field of play.
Both teams were ringing the changes with Monaghan hoping the new legs could make some vital inroads, they did however win three frees for their trouble as Chloe Mc Bride secured all three. Orlaith Printer did put over another prior to her ten minute spell in the bin, Antrim had done enough to see them safely through to the ulster decider, while Monaghan must now await the draw for the qualifiers.
Final Score Monaghan 1-13 Antrim 3-12
Orna Kelly. Maeve Monaghan, Jennifer Duffy, Emma Clerkin, Shona Brady, Aine Loughman, Brid Mc Nally, Muireann Atkinson (0:1), Rosemary Courtney Amy Garland, Shauna Coyle (0:1), Lauren Garland, Leanne Maguire (1:1), Chloe Mc Bride (0:6/5f), Jodie McQuillan(0:3).
Subs used: Amy Hamill, Holly McQuaid, Machailla McCabe
, Ceile Murphy.
Anna McCann, Aisling McPharland, Emma Ferran, Niamh Mc Entosh, Orla Corr, Ciara Brown, Sarah O’Neill, Ana Mullholland, Anne Tubridy, Theresa Mellon. Cathy Carey, Lara Dahunsi, Bronagh Devlin, Orlaith Printer, Maria O’Neill.
Subs used: Diana Coleman, Grainne McLoughlin, Laura Agnew, Katelyn Taggart.