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Aisling Clery

Antrim reach Intermediate semi-finals for the first time with five-goal rout of Monaghan

The semi-final line-ups for the 2023 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate and Junior Championship semi-finals have been confirmed.

In the Intermediate grade, it’ll be Wexford against Kildare and Antrim against Clare on Sunday, July 23, while on the same day, the Junior semi-finals will pit Down against Carlow while Fermanagh will take on Limerick.

Reigning All Ireland Junior champions Antrim made history as they qualified for the last four of the IFC for the very first time with a 5-6 to 0-8 win against Monaghan in what was a repeat of the Ulster IFC final.

Maria O’Neill and Orlaith Prenter hit a goal each in either half while Gráinne McLaughlin added a fifth goal for Emma Kelly’s side as Antrim ran out convincing winners.

Read more: Recap as Derry clinch All-Ireland Minor title with seven-point win over Monaghan

Antrim will face Clare in the semi-final after the Banner County were pushed all the way by a resilient Westmeath side.

Clare got off to a perfect start as Chloe Moloney and Fidelma Marrinan (2) got the early goals and Clare led by 3-2 to 0-1 after nine minutes.

However, Westmeath battled back and with Aoife Connolly in inspiring form scoring 2-4 in the opening half, Westmeath levelled the game at 3-5 apiece at the break. Clare were sharper in the second half and with Fidelma Marrinan and Moloney in top form, they advance to the last four.

There was late drama in Chadwicks Wexford Park where Wexford eventually overcame a determined Leitrim side. Laura O’Dowd and Chloe Fox swapped goals in the opening half as the sides were level at 1-6 each at the break. After the break, Wexford pushed ahead with Ciara Banville and Chloe Fox each finding the net. A Leah Fox goal though late on set up a nervous finish but Wexford remained resolute and did enough to advance.

Meanwhile in Hawkfield, in a low scoring opening half, Kildare led by 0-7 to 0-2 at the break against Tyrone. Aoife Rattigan scored the only goal of the game in the second half while Róisín Byrne, Neasa Dooley and Grainne Rafferty all showed well for Kildare as they booked their place in the semi-finals against Wexford, a repeat of the 2023 Leinster IFC Final.

On Saturday, both Longford and Louth were relegated to the TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship for the 2024 season.

In the Intermediate relegation play-off games in Kinnegad, Longford lost out to Offaly, while Louth fell to Roscommon.

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