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Saffrons setting stage for battle Royal

By John Campbell

Published 02/04/2016

Outstanding: Eleanor Mallon
Outstanding: Eleanor Mallon

Antrim camogie team hope to make up some lost ground in Division Two Group 1 of the National League when they face Meath at Trim tomorrow.

The Saffrons, bracketed in what is a demanding division that also includes teams such as Galway and Cork, are keen to get back to winning ways following their defeat to Westmeath in their last outing.

They were, in fact, due to meet Meath last weekend but the match was postponed until tomorrow due to the death of former leading Portglenone club official Liam McAleese, father of current Antrim squad members Anna, Katie and Emma.

Antrim are now hoping to show much better form against the Royal County, particularly as they cannot afford to concede further leeway in the league.

In going under to Westmeath by 3-14 to 1-8, Antrim paid the penalty for some defensive lapses yet in goalkeeper Eleanor Mallon they provided one of the outstanding players in the game.

She pulled off a series of fine saves and prevented her side from incurring a much heavier defeat.

The Antrim side is a mixture of youth and experience and in Shannon Graham, Lucia McNaughton, Louise McMullan and Emma McMullan they have players who can provide leadership and perhaps set the tone for what is hoped will be an improved display.

Last year in the National League Division Two, Meath showed some inconsistent form with wins against Cork (1-9 to 2-5) and Down (2-14 to 3-9) but defeats by Kilkenny and Waterford.

They have experienced a similar roller-coaster ride to date this term but home advantage could weigh in their favour in tomorrow's test.

Meanwhile, Antrim will clash with Kildare and Derry will oppose Meath in the All-Ireland minor camogie series on April 16.

Antrim have shown fine form at this level and the county's emerging talent is now set to make a big impact on the All-Ireland stage.

Belfast Telegraph

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