Captain Cait so proud as Derry land first Ulster title in 10 years
Derry 3-15 Antrim 1-14
After the heartbreak of losing last year's All Ireland final, Derry took a major step to redemption when they secured their first Ulster junior title in 10 years at Emyvale.
Skipper Cait Glass was overjoyed to end such a long wait without silverware, saying: "This goes some way to making up for the loss last year but it is just another step for this team. We want to go on now in the All Ireland series and, for me, it's a remarkable honour to be captaining this great group of girls."
Antrim kept in touch throughout and certainly made this an interesting contest although the quality of Emma Doherty's finishing, coupled with a clinical defensive display from veteran Cait Glass proved critical to Derry's hard earned success.
The Oakleafs had taken control after points from Aoife Taggart and Maoirsa McGourty had given Antrim an early lead. Deirbhle McNicholl's goal put Derry in the box seat. There were two points between the sides as McGourty and Taggart tagged on Saffron points but a second Derry goal from Ciara McGurk and a flurry of points left Derry leading by eight at the break.
A 40 metre run by Derry's Megan Devine was rewarded with a stunning solo goal just after the restart yet it spurred on Antrim and they rattled off four points without reply, McGourty and Jenny McCavana among the scorers.
Six between the sides with 15 minutes to go, Antrim pressed forward but the loss through injury of Grace Conway galvanised Paul Crozier's side and they added further points themselves through Ciara Moore, Erin Doherty and Aimee McGuickin to see the game out with seven points to spare. Emma Doherty finished with 0-7 among eight different Derry scorers.
√Tyrone began the defence of their back to back Ulster intermediate titles with an emphatice 38 point win over Down, 7-22 to 0-5.
By the end of the first quarter Tyrone led 4-5 to 0-2, goals from Chloe Mc Caffrey, debutant Caitlin Kelly and player of the match Niamh Hughes pulling them clear of a poor Down challenge.
Tyrone purred through the gear's for the remainder of the tie, easing home with comfort with Gerry Moane saying: "We came to do a job with new players on board and we delivered, but we are only in the final and we will have tougher tests."