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Antrim will be a bigger test for us, says Rooney

 

John Campbell

By John Campbell

Down camogie team boss Martina Rooney has certainly lost no time in warning her side that they will face a much more difficult test in the Ulster Senior Camogie Championship final against Antrim than they did when they faced Derry in the semi-final at the weekend.

The Mourne girls triumphed by 1-11 to 1-6 but Rooney believes that they now face a very tough challenge if they are to lift the provincial title.

"While it was good to get over the line against Derry, we maybe lost our shape a little when they came back at us in the second-half," states Rooney.

"I thought there was a spell midway through the second-half when we were sailing close to the wind but the girls dug deep and the substitutes played their part in taking us to victory."

Niamh Mallon proved Down's inspirational force, the lively forward helping herself to six points.

And Paula O'Hagan also made a big impact by grabbing 1-2. O'Hagan worked tirelessly in sparking raids while it was left to Grainne McGoldrick to offer most resistance from Derry's perspective.

McGoldrick scored 1-4 of her team's total with her points coming from frees. Her second-half goal held out the prospect of a Derry recovery but it was not to be.

Down finished the game strongly and will now get the chance to prove their worth in front of a larger than usual crowd when the final is played as the curtain-raiser to the Armagh v Cavan Ulster Senior Football Championship semi-final at Clones on Sunday.

Manager Rooney is certainly relishing this prospect and indeed is hoping her side can take their lead from Clonduff who won the All-Ireland intermediate club title earlier this year.

"Obviously it will be great to be part of what will be a big occasion," says Rooney.

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