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Antrim roar into All-Ireland final but Derry take a terrible beating

By John Campbell

There were mixed fortunes for Ulster teams when the semi-finals of the All-Ireland ladies football championship at different levels took place yesterday.

While Antrim cantered to a facile 6-15 to 2-8 victory over London in the first of the junior 'semis', Derry were mercilessly routed 9-26 to 0-3 by a fired-up Longford in the other contest.

Yet even though his team had plenty to spare on this occasion, Antrim manager Seamus McKenna will be taking nothing for granted going into the All-Ireland final.

"We have played Longford three times this year already and they have won on two occasions so we know we will have our work cut out in this decider," says McKenna.

Eimear Gallagher (2), Mairead Cooper (2), Aine Devlin and Marissa McGourty grabbed Antrim's goals.

But while Antrim can contemplate glory, Derry were subjected to a humiliating thrashing by Longford. Even with less than a quarter of the contest gone, Derry were on the rack when they trailed by 5-4 to 0-1 and at half-time Longford had entered the stratosphere at 8-12 to 0-2. Such match-ups certainly do nothing for the image of ladies football!

Monaghan, too, tasted heartbreak but not to the same extent. Their ambitions of reaching the All-Ireland senior final were thwarted by reigning champions Cork, who powered their way into the decider when they triumphed by 2-10 to 1-10 in an absorbing semi-final.

The Ulster champions showed commendable skill and fortitude but fell victims to a polished points blitz from Briege Corkery and a brace of goals from Orla Finn and Ciara O'Sullivan.

Eimer McAnespie's goal kept Monaghan in touch at 2-4 to 1-2 at half-time but Cork's greater experience and finishing skills underpinned their efforts in the closing phase to take them through to a showdown with Gregory McGonigle's in-form Dublin side.

Belfast Telegraph

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