Shamrocks U14 girls retain their title

The U14 Camogs created an historic double for the parish when they beat Ballycastle in the County Féile Final.

The previous week the hurlers added the County Féile title to their North Antrim crown and it is the first time Loughgiel has won both County titles in the same year.

The girls entered the game as defending Champions and were as well-prepared as any team could be. They have an unblemished record this season, being unbeaten in the league, and having won the Mid Ulster A & B blitzes, and the Ulster Féile Division 1 Title.

Loughgiel got off to a great start when Ciara Laverty fired over a point within 20 seconds. This was followed by a goal from Annie Lynn and a well-pointed free from Róisín McCormick.

Ciara was quickly proving the town’s chief tormentor scoring with every opportunity that came in her direction. She struck over 3 quick points to leave Loughgiel leading 1-05 to 0-00 with barely 5 minutes played.

Ballycastle rallied and stepped up their game, scoring a goal and 2 points in the next 3 minutes to close the gap to 3. Points were then exchanged over the latter part of the first half. The defence was well marshalled by Aoife O`Mullan, Caitlin McCloskey and Erin McMullan.

In the last 10 minutes of the half Róisín(1 point) and Ciara (2 points) scored for Loughgiel and 2 points from Ballycastle left it 1-08 to 1-04 at half-time. Loughgiel started the second half pretty much as the first; Ciara pointing after 1 minute. Annie added a point 4 minutes later to leave Loughgiel leading by 6.

After some pressure from Ballycastle, Loughgiel conceded a free, which Maeve Kelly converted.

Loughgiel replied immediately with Róisín scoring after a great run up the field and almost from the resulting puck-out Fionnuala Laverty sent the ball back over the bar. There followed a period of stalemate and this was finally broken following some good work by Orlagh Laverty to stop the McQuillan’s clearing and Shauna McKillop pointed the resulting loose ball.

Final result:Loughgiel 1-13, Ballycastle 1-05. It was a game that had everything with superb scoring, intense tackling, hooking, blocking, high catching and strong direct running.

The girls on both teams are a credit to their families, their communities and to Antrim Camogie.