Ulster Junior Camogie Championship
Bellaghy 1-14 Granemore 3-6
Michael McMullan at Páirc Seán de Brún
Whatever was said in the Bellaghy dressing room at half-time should be bottled and sold.
An awesome second-half display of grit, skill and scoring saw Eamon Darragh’s side into the last four.
After skating on thin ice at times during the first-half, they only trailed by two points.
The Tones came out after the break to score five unanswered points as their self-belief radiated as the bright the midweek lights.
They were unstuck by two minutes of sloppy defending allowing Granemore’s Rachel Merry to score two goals from long range.
It was decision time. Battle or roll over. Bellaghy close the former.
— County Derry Post (@derrypost) October 10, 2018
Trailing 3-5 to 0-11 going into the final quarter, the home side had to pull out the stops to deservedly go into a winning position for a second time.
A 56th minute goal from player of the match Roisin Gallagher was followed by a point for Grainne Convery and the home fans were in raptures.
Bellaghy now play Cavan champions Crosserlough on Sunday (2.30) at home.
But Wednesday's epic nearly didn’t take place, with a floodlight failure threatening to spoil the midweek showpiece.
Following a first county title in 25 years and a jaw-dropping drawn game, the midweek fixture brought a sizeable and expectant crowd.
Like their camogie team, the Bellaghy volunteers refused to take no for an answer and 45 minutes later the lights were in full flow as Owen Elliott threw in the ball.
It was point for point in a low-scoring opening quarter, with Bellaghy’s defence in resolute form against a dangerous and fast-moving Granemore side.
Rachel Merry scored the first of her three goals and Granemore could’ve had a second.
Bellaghy rode their luck at times but overall their defence was in brilliant form and three frees from Gallagher kept the Tones in touch.
With the second-half barely settled into action, Aisling McErlean, Roisin Cassidy and Niamh McElwee rattled off three points.
With the crowd electrifying the girls in blue, Bellaghy took control of the game but they leaked two goals – against the run of play – to go behind once again, 3-5 to 0-11.
Gallagher from a free and fantastic Grainne Convery point, following a Gallagher pass had Bellaghy back in the game.
Then came a powerful run from Roisin Gallagher and an unstoppable shot to the net, putting the Tones back in front with three minutes remaining.
Grainne Convery hit the insurance point, as Bellaghy held on during four minutes of injury time for victory.
Sunday's semi-final is fixed for 2.30 in Bellaghy, with the club's minor footballers in action at Owenbeg (4.00) in the MFC Final against Lavey.
Bellaghy: Lorraine Diamond, Aoife Bradley, Aine McElwee, Grainne McClenaghan, Sarah Molloy, Sarah Cassidy, Aislinn Craig, Sarah Darragh, Roisin Cassidy (0-2), Roísín Gallagher (1-6, 6f, 1 ‘45’), Therese McClaverty, Niamh McElwee (0-2), Aisling McErlean (0-1), Grainne Convery (0-2), Roisin Loughlin (0-1).
Granemore: Bronagh Mone, Clodagh McClelland, Saoirse McClelland, Aoibheann McClelland, Colleen O’Hare, Grainne Kelly, Tara Doyle, Aileen Doyle, Ciara Hill, Jordan Carr, Rachel Merry (3-5, 2f), Aoife Haughey, Kate Smyth, Ciarrai Devlin, Corinna Doyle (0-1).
Ref: Owen Elliott (Antrim).
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