Derry and Antrim shared the points after the sides drew 2-07 to 0-13 at Creggan on Saturday afternoon.
The game started at a pulsating pace as both sides tried to gain an early advantage. Antrim broke the dead-lock with a fine point from Colleen Doherty but Derry responded with a Grainne McGoldrick point. The two sides then traded points with Shannon Graham and Rhona Torney getting on the score-sheet before Derry raised the green flag with Sinead Cassidy firing home. Antrim fought back and a Shannon Graham point ensured the Saffrons held a one point lead.
The second-half continued much like the first with Maeve McGoldrick and Micheala Convery pointing for their respective counties. The Antrim forward line piled the pressure on the Derry defense, running at them but Aileen McCusker, Jane Carey and Edelle Henry held them at bay. Antrim looked set to raise the green flag but Ciara Boyle stood tall to deny Raquel McCarry. The return of Jane Adams caused a buzz and she instantly showed her class collecting a ball from Seanin Daykin before placing it between the posts. A late Sinead Cassidy goal seemed to have sealed the win for Derry but Raquel McCarry stepped up to coolly slot the ball over the bar from the sideline and ensure Antrim a share of the spoils.
“”Draws are always hard-hitting games, credit to Derry they were impressive yesterday. Grainne (McGoldrick) showed her class and Maeve McGoldrick was really effective as well. Once the goal went in at the end it looked like they would be the team that would push on and win it but our girls battled well and I think we were lucky to come away with a draw. It takes a lot of nerve to put a sideline over to draw the match,”” said Antrim manager Mickey McCullagh.
In Division 3 Laois proved too strong for Armagh winning 5-17 to 2-7. The opening encounters were evenly contested but Laois held the advantage heading into the break. Armagh battled well in the second-half but failed to get back on level terms as Laois pulled away in the final fifteen minutes.
“”It was a good tough game, we fought well but Laois upped it in the last fifteen or so minutes and we just couldn’t contain them anymore,”” said Armagh‘s Niamh McGeown.
London pulled off a surprise win over Tyrone in Division 4, the Exiles holding out for a one point victory on a scoreline of 2-4 to 1-6.
Saint Louis, Ballymena had a fine two point win over Presentation College Kilkenny in the Colleges’ All-Ireland Junior æB’ Semi-Final winning on a score-line of 3-05 to 3-03.