Fermanagh 2-09 Antrim 0-18

Fermanagh suffered defeat in today's Ulster Ladies Junior Championship final as they went down by three points to Antrim.

The Erne side had looked as if they were in the driving seat as goals from Eimear Smyth and Joanne Doonan helped them into a five point half time advantage.

And a Danielle Maguire point on the resumption increased that lead out to six points with Fermanagh at that stage appearing to be in control of matters.

However, the remainder of the tie was dominated by the Saffrons who got their noses in front for the first time in the game with four minutes to go before going on to hit the last two scores and run out deserved victors.

Fermanagh could not have hoped though for a better opening to the game as they won the ball from the throw up and it was fed to Smyth who raced in on goal before producing a composed finish to the corner of the net.

Antrim answered with a free from Cathy Carey but Fermanagh had the upperhand in the opening exchanges and with Molly McGloin, Smyth and Noelle Connolly tagging on points as they moved into a 1-03 to 0-01 lead.

Antrim though were starting to show signs of the threats that they posed and after the sides shared the next four points, Mairead Cooper and Carey converting frees for Antrim and Smyth and Joanne Doonan landing points from play for Fermanagh, Antrim went on to hit the next three points through Caitlin Taggart (2) and Niamh Enright to cut the deficit to two points, 1-05 to 0-06.

However, Fermanagh appeared to be firmly back in command of the contest when Doonan rattled over a point and then followed up with her side's second goal. A free from Smyth dropped short and the Fermanagh captain was quickest to react to force the ball into the net to make it 2-06 to 0-06.

Carey did clip over a late free for Antrim but at the break Fermanagh led by five.

Fermanagh almost got the second half off to a similar start as the first when Smyth again got in on goal but on this occasion her shot smacked off thr post although they did collect a point from the attack as the ball was worked to Maguire who pointed to make it a six point game.

From this point on though it was Antrim who came to the fore with Carey opening their second half account from a free.

Fermanagh did have another goal chance but midfielder Aoife Flanagan poked wide and Antrim went down the other end for Carey to knock over another free.

The influential Lara Dahunsi followed up with the first of her four second half points and when corner back Orla Corr strode forweard to point it saw the lead trimmed to two points as the momentum swung Antrim way.

Fermanagh badly needed a score and Smyth provided it with a free but Antrim continued to power forward and Dahunsi banged over two wonderful points either side of one from Enright to tie things up at 2-08 to 0-14.

Mistakes had crept into the Fermanagh game over the course of the second half but a point from Blaithin Bogue did edge them back in front with 12 minutes to go.

Fermanagh then had another goal opportunity as a Smyth attempt at a point fell short and Doonan again gathered possession but her effort at goal was blocked by Antrim captain Saoirse Tennyson and behind for a 45.

Another Dahunsi point levelled up matters once more and Fermanagh were wayward in front of the posts as a couple of good chances to regain the lead went begging.

Antrim though had their tails up and Cooper fired them ahead with four minutes and they controlled things in the closing stages with Carey adding two further frees to see the Saffrons run out three point victors.