Skelly hits 4-3 as Antrim claim U14 All-Ireland Bronze title

June 08, 2024

Antrim captain Ella McLaughlin lifts the trophy with team-mates following the 2024 All-Ireland U14 Bronze final between Limerick and Antrim at Coralstown Kinnegad GAA Club in Kinnegad, Westmeath. Photo by Shauna Clinton/Sportsfile

Antrim 5-10  
Limerick 5-6 

by Deniese O'Flaherty

Sophie Skelly scored 4-3 as Antrim claimed the U14 All-Ireland Bronze Championship title in a goal fest at Kinnegad GAA.  

Skelly put in a superb performance as the Saffrons won their first piece of sìlverware at this grade. Eight goals were scored in the first half as Antrim went in at the break five points ahead at 4-6 to 4-1. 

Two minutes had gone on the clock when the Saffrons scored their first goal through Cliodhna McKeever. Limerick created chances and in the seventh minute scored their first goal when Sophia Neville finished off a fine move. 

Ciara Murphy kicked over a free to edge Limerick in front but the response from Antrim was very good. They were back in front in the 12th minute and a fine point from Aoibhea Stanton put three between the sides after 19 minutes of play. 

In the 20th minute Skelly scored her first goal but that was cancelled out by a goal from Erin Madigan. Minutes later Limerick were level with a third goal. 

The pace of the game was frantic. Points from Ava LeMahieu (free) and McKeever put Antrim in front by two after 25 minutes. But the game swung in Limerick’s favour minutes later when Sarah Sheehan capitalised on a mistake from the Antrim netminder and found the back of the net. There was time for more drama when Skelly grabbed her third goal for Antrim. She followed that up with a point to give her side a five point lead at the interval. 

Unlike the first half we had to wait 12 minutes for the first score of the second; a pointed free from the boot of Skelly. She followed that up with two more points (one free) to extend the lead to eight points in the 44th minute. 

Credit to Limerick they never laid down. In the 53rd minute Madigan scored a goal to close the gap to four points. Skelly capped off a fantastic individual display with her fourth and her side’s fifth goal. 

Scorers - Antrim: S Skelly 4-3 (2f), C McKeever 1-4, A Stanton, N Ní Mhuirrigh, A Le Mahieu (f) 0-1 each. 

Limerick: E Madigan 3-0, S Neville, S Sheehan 1-0 each, C Murphy 0-3 (2f), E O’Neill, E Waters, K O’Connor 0-1 each.   

ANTRIM: T Kalu; R Brady, E McLaughlin, S McKinstry; K McAllister, C Graffin, C McKee; A Stanton, C McKeever; M O’Kane, A Crossley, N Ni Mhuirrigh; A Le Mahieu, S Skelly, E Lynn. 

Subs: C McGarry for Brady, A Lean for Ní Mhuirrigh, L McGill for O’Kane, C Coogan for Crossley and S Reid for Le Mahieu (40) 

LIMERICK: K Sherin; O O’Connor, T Doyle, A Williams; S Finnerty, C Carey, A O’Sullivan; C Mulcahy, A Donnelly; E O’Neill, C Murphy, E Waters; E Madigan, E Sommers, S Neville. 

Subs: C Clifford for Finnerty, I Ní Uigin for O’Neill and S Sheehan for Sommers (20), K Dooley for Williams (26), E O’Neill for Ní Uigin and A Walsh for Sheehan (40) 

Referee: Ciaran Groome (Offaly) 

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