Antrim storm to first Ulster Intermediate title
28th May 2023
A more than disappointing afternoon for Tyrone at Owenbeg as Antrim collected their first ever Ulster intermediate title easing to an eight point win over Tyrone who at times struggled against the well organised Saffrons. Inspired by Orlath Prenters 1-8, including a second half penalty Antrim at times cut through the red hand defence, they looked sharp on the ball and finishing of Prenter was a benchmark of their success.
The sides had been level on five occasions in the first half but in the final minutes of the half Antrim pulled away to lead at the break by four, they never looked back after that taking control through a Theresa Mellon goal on the restart always looking comfortable.
Maria Canavan had opened the days scoring with a well taken point, Lara Dahunsi, Prenter and Maria O’Neill tagged on early Antrim points while goalkeeper Anna McCann denied Emma Jane Gervin who closed in after a good Canavan pass.
In a good spell for Tyrone they showed real quality Grainne Rafferty, Aoife Mc Gahan 0-2 and Canavan hit points and they looked well capable of pushing on yet Prenter kept Antrim in touch. Steadying the ship Grannie Mc Laughlin points pushed Antrim ahead and despite a Rafferty equaliser there was a strong finish from the Saffs.
Prenter dropped over three points and O’Neill should have goaled but tapped over a point as they led well.
Starting the second half as they left off a quick 1-3 from Antrim left them 1-13 to 0-6 up with eight second half minutes played. Mellon was on hand to slam home the goal, Captain Cathy Carey , Mellon and Prenter adding to the points tally.
Credit to Tyrone they stormed back scoring five points without reply, Canavan, duly withdrawn, Slaine Mc Carroll still carrying a knock and three points from the impressive Rafferty had closed the gap to a manageable five points , yet as they looked like the comeback was on they coughed up a penalty.
Prenter dispatched the goal after winning the spot kick and Tyrone’s race was run. Prenter adding points Aoife Horisk on target for Tyrone. Dahunsi and Sasha Byrne exchanged points O’Neill and Dahunsi kept the scoreboard ticking over with Horisk scoring a consolation goal before the end.
Antrim were excellent throughout while only on occasions did Tyrone carry a threat, Niamh Hughes, Aoibheann Mc Hugh, Merabh Corrigan and Rafferty were excellent while Sinead Mc Vey made a couple of key stops over the hour but they can have little complaint as they look ahead to the all Ireland series.
Tyrone: Grainne Rafferty 0-5 Aoife Horisk 1-1, Maria Canavan 0-3, Aoife Mc Gahan 0-2, Slaine Mc Carroll 0-1, Sasha Byrne 0-1
Antrim: Orlaith Prenter 1-8, Theresa Mellon 1-1, Maria O’Neill 0-4, Lara Dahunsi 0-2, Grainne Mc Laughlin 0-2, Cathy Carey 0-1