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The score board does not reflect the pace that this game was played at, Offaly gave everything on the day were unlucky and the management can be proud of their players performance. Karen Nugent was unable to line out due to an injury received in a club game on Tuesday last and Elaine Dermody played with a heavily strapped ankle picked up from the same club game which gave Claire Nevin a chance to show her ability from the start. Michaela Morkan started for the first time since recent surgery which meant that Grace McRedmond dropped to the bench.
It was hard to keep up with the end to end scoring and at half time it was Offaly 3-7 antrim 5-3. Offaly didnt play well in the first quarter and Antrim netted 3 goals when their star player Jane Adams cut through the defence with her pace and laid off inch perfect passes each time. Offaly’s Michelle Davis had one of her best games to date scoring 1-3 in the first half alone all from play when she collected well from Tina Hannon and Fiona Stephens and she won frees which Arlene Watkins and Michaela Morkan pointed. Antrim had built up a 10 point lead at one stage in the first half and Offaly were struggling to come to grips with them but a great goal from a free by Elaine Dermody who had moved out midfield. A dropping ball was caught by the Antrim goalkeeper who was put under pressure by Claire Nevin and Aoife Kelly stepped behind her own line and both umpires signaled the goal and Offaly were right back there with only two points between them at half time.
Both teams exchanged 2 points each in the opening 12 minutes with Michelle Davis and Arlene Watkins pointing for Offaly. Then Antrim stepped it up and scored 1-6 in the remaining 10 minutes when Offaly were going for goals and were unable to get through even though Michelle Davis thought that she had got another goal when she batted back a block by the Antrim goalkeeper but after the umpires consulted with the referee a point was awarded. This shattered the Faithful girls of a come back and when the final histle was blown, the girls were bitterly disappointed at the scoreline as they knew they didn’t deserve to loose by a 10 point margin.
Marion Crean congratulated Antrim on their victory and thanked her own teammates and management for their efforts and promised that they would all focus on the chamionship now and they have learned alot from their two games against such a good Antrim team.

Emma Carey, Anne Duignan, Elaine Dermody, Karen Brady, Linda Sullivan, Sheila Sullivan, Marion Crean (capt), Tina Hannon, Michaela Morkan, Siobhan Flannery, Michele Davis (1-5), Claire Nevin, Arlene Watkins (0-2), Aoife Kelly(1-0), Fiona Stephens.

Subs:Grace McRedmond for Claire Nevin, Lorraine Keena for Siobhan Flannery, Jean Brady, Amy Dooley, Shaunna Flynn, Karen Nugent.

Chrissie Doherty, Kelly Maybin, Sinead Laverty, Orla Donnelly, Coleen Doherty, Mairead Graham, Emma Connolly, Charlene Hamill, Rhona Torney, Michaela Convery(0-1), Jane Adams (0-7), Clare Laverty (2-1), Shannon Graham (2-1), Grainne Connolly (2-1), Orla McCaul.
Subs used Katy McAleese and Aisline McCaul.

Caroline Mc Carthy, PRO

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