Antrim and Down beaten in All-Ireland camogie finals

Antrim's Aileen Martin is challenged by Wexford opponent Bridget Curran at Croke Park
Antrim's Aileen Martin is challenged by Wexford opponent Bridget Curran at Croke Park

There was disappointment for Ulster teams Antrim and Down in Sunday's All-Ireland camogie finals at Croke Park.

Antrim lost 2-12 to 0-15 to Wexford in the Intermediate decider, with Ciara O'Connor and Fiona Rochford netting the goals in the first half.

Saffrons skipper Jane Adams scored 13 points in a superb individual display.

Down failed to take their first junior title since 1991, suffering a 2-11 to 1-13 defeat by Waterford despite a second-half fightback.

O'Connor and Rochford struck in the opening nine minutes to lay the foundation for Wexford to take the McGrath Cup.

Wexford led by 2-3 to 0-1 after 17 minutes, before five unanswered points from Adams cut the deficit to three points at the break on a 2-3 to 0-6 scoreline.

Down's Catherine McGourty is first to the ball against Grainne Kenneally of Waterford
Down's Catherine McGourty wins possession against Grainne Kenneally

The Leinster side opened up a seven-point lead midway through the second half, but Antrim were strong with goalkeeper Mairead Graham deflecting a 39th minute penalty shot over the crossbar.

Adams continued to pave the way in the scoring stakes for Antrim, reducing the deficit to five points with seven minutes remaining.

Half-forwards Michaela Convery and Charlene Hamill left the score at 2-12 to 0-15 with two minutes remaining, with Antrim continuing to pile on pressure.

Antrim fought hard for an equalising goal, but a late Adams free in the second minute of injury time was cleared out, as Wexford held out to take a first title at this grade.

Down trailed by 11 points in the junior final with as many minutes played in the second half, but they scored eight points without reply to cut the deficit to three points with two minutes left on the clock.

Catherine McGourty, Niamh Mallon, Kelly O'Higgins and Fionnuala Carr led a strong Down comeback to leave the score at 2-10 to 0-13.

Ballycran's Nicola Braniff netted on the stroke of injury-time to cut the deficit to the minimum, but Down were unable to find an equalising score as Waterford held out to take their first ever title.

The sides were tied on four occasions in the opening 19 minutes, with Karen McMullan, Mallon and McGourty providing Down's early scores.

However, Down would only score one further point before the interval, as Waterford went on a scoring spree with Ruth Geoghegan and Kelly goals helping them to a 2-8 to 0-5 interval lead.

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