Camogie Leagues Division Two
Laois v Antrim
By Kieran Lynch
THE Antrim camogs have made a strong start to their league campaign, and the Saffron ladies will be hoping to keep the good times rolling this weekend, when they travel to the midlands to take on Laois.
A dominant victory over Kerry may have been a routine start for Antrim, but they were made to sweat last time out against Galway, in a much closer battle which finished 1-12 to 1-8. Antrim’s manager Elaine Dowds told Gaelic Life that she has been very happy with her side’s two performances to date.
“Both Kerry and the Galway team had some personnel changes from last year, as did we, but the aim was obviously to collect the points which we did,” she said.
“The Galway game was much more challenging, but useful in that it taught us more about ourselves and gave us a lot of things to reflect on. Both games were pleasing performance wise.”
The game against Galway hung in the balance until late on, and Antrim needed a Roisin McCormick goal in the last minute to seal the win.
“Galway were one of the toughest teams we played last year so we knew going in how difficult it would be,” said Dowds.
“We played well, created some great scoring opportunities which we didn’t take and, in the end up, we needed the late goal. This just demonstrates our resilience and belief. Sometimes having to grind out a result teaches you a lot more about yourself.”
Dowds also discussed who the standout players have been for Antrim, and she said that she has been impressed by what she has seen at both ends of the field.
“Defensively, we’ve been very strong, consistently so. I feel we are more organised, focused and tactically aware than we have been in previous seasons,” said the Antrim manager.
“Without Maeve Kelly this season so far, Roisin McCormick and Aine Magill have had to really stand up and be leaders in attack. We’re also working with a handful of new forwards who’ve had to learn very quickly what it’s like to play at this level and they’ve had to learn to play as part of an established group of players.
“They’ve done so really well, and I’m pleased with the way the entire team has adjusted and improved with each subsequent game.”
Up next is an away game against Laois, and despite two victories already secured, Dowds is looking for continued improvement from her team.
“We’ve played Laois before and beat them, but this means nothing ahead of Saturday’s game,” Dowds believes.
“We’ll go in with the same level of preparation and focused mentality we do with every game. We will focus on our own game plan and tactics, concentrate on the work rate and performance and aim to reduce errors in handling.
“It’s really important for us to show improvement in every game as we progress through the league.”
READ MORE…Antrim hurlers fall short in Portlaoise. Click here…