LIDL National League Division 3, Sunday 4th February, Down 5.06 Roscommon 2.09
Down Ladies enjoyed an excellent win today at the RGU in Downpatrick with a surge in the second half which left the Roscommon visitors standing. As the match started, it was Roscommon who came out fighting first and had a significant part of the run of play in the first half against Down despite both teams drawing level at the break.
But after a few minutes, a decisive intervention in a Roscommon attack close to the Down goal saw captain Orla Boyle who had a great game spur her side on to press out of the Down half and take the match to Roscommon in a quick attack.
Roscommon rallied quickly and Rebecca Finan was just wide of the Down sticks with the visitors’ first attempt. Then Sheila Brady shot from 20 yards and pointed in play.
Down were quick to reply moving into the Roscommon half and Down’s Kate McCay found an opportunity but kicked the ball wide. Then it was Louise Duffy’s turn to get into the action and almost scored on the goal line but was faced with a line of very focussed Roscommon defenders.
Roscommon found a chink in the Down armour and a short pass from Laura Fleming saw Finan fist the ball into the back of the Down net.
As the temperature of the match picked up, Down broke forward and Jess Foy scored a goal to keep the home side in the running. A short time later Down won a penalty converted by Natasha Ferris. Then, after a minute Down collected another goal at close quarters with Sorcha McCartan hitting the back of the net.
Roscommon’s Sheila Brady took a free after Finan was taken down in a tackle and pointed. At one stage it looked as though Roscommon’s Aisling MacAuliffe was going to break through on a solo run but Cara Cunningham was the last defender before the goal and she successfully dispossessed her ending the threat. And in another attack, Chara Laverty too played her part in breaking up a solid Roscommon build up.
Then it was Roscommon’s Jenny Higgin’s who made a run but she too was stopped by good defending from Down’s Laura Morgan. Roscommon collected another point but the Down defence were on form and Sinead Farrell’s dangerous low shot at the Down goal was fended off with a great reflex move by keeper Aisling Burns.
MacAuliffe broke into space and found the room to shoot at the Down goal but went wide.
However, Down were not deterred and a response saw a good passing move from Foy to McCartan to Keown who took another point.
As the first half ended, Down seemed to have a lot of the play in their half to Roscommon’s credit but the home side did well to come out intact with the scoreline level at 3-03 to 2-06 at the break.
Down opened the scoring in the second half with a point from Clara Mulvenna and there was a strong reply from Roscommon with a quick break signalling it was game on and the match had gone up a gear. The pace increased and both teams were intent on attacking.
Down’s Jess Foy just missed a goal opportunity when flanked by defenders she makes a timely turn to face the goal and unleashed a solid shot but it was inches wide of the goal.
McCartan was in fine scoring fettle and took a shot at the Roscommon goal but the ball was well saved by keeper Helena Cummins. Then Kate McCay ran in and took a well-earned point while under pressure from defender Roísin Wynne.
Then Down pressure eventually forced a penalty as Foy was taken down in the box and she converted it decisively.
Roscommon were trying to rally by around the 25-minute mark they started to look a bit more faded as Down were determined to ensure their victory was secured.
At this stage, the match became more physical and Roscommon’s MacAuliffe received a yellow card for fouling McKay. Down then won a free at the edge of the 14-yard line and converted.
But the final nail in the coffin for Roscommon came when Natasha Ferris received the ball and ran in and kicked it past keeper Cummins with 15 minutes left to play.
It was all downhill for Roscommon from there as Down cruised on to a comfortable win. The match had moved to and fro and both teams had had their opportunities, but Down managed to get the upper hand in a fairly hard-fought battle between the counties.
Down Ladies: Aisling Burns, Laura Morgan, Orla Boyle (Captain), Hannah Murray, Cara Cunningham, Roisin Torney, Chara Laverty, Kate McKay, Clara Mulvenna, Meghan Doherty, Laoise Duffy, Aoife Keown, Jess Foy, Natasha Ferris, Sorcha McCartan. Subs: Adair Trainor, Graine McClean, Aoibheann McCarville, Kyla Trainor, Niamh Price, Leah Milligan, Brea McKee, Cassie Moane, Dearbhla McGreevy, Megan Boyle, Aimee Greene, Orla Duffy, Amanda Wood, Morgan Shannon.
Roscommon Ladies: Helena Cummins, Honor Ennis, Amanda McLoone, Rachel Brady, Aisling MacAuliffe, Sinead Kenny (Captain), Roisin Wynne, Jenny Higgins, Laura Fleming, Rachel Fitzmaurice, Jenny Downey, Niamh Feeney, Sheila Brady. Subs: Sasha Lavin, Shannon Dowd, Coleen Caueen, Niamh Fleming, Louise Brady, Sarah Scally, Aoife Gavin.
U18/Minors - BORN 2000/2001 ONLY
The minors had their second challenge game yesterday against Tyrone in Hilltown. Playing 3 25-minute games, everyone got plenty of game time. Some fantastic passages of play with commitment and desire seen the girls overcome a physical battle to secure a win over a good Tyrone side. We would like to thank Clonduff for the use of the facilities and soup and sandwiches was welcome after the game.
Down U16 – BORN 2002 ONLY
Congratulations to Senior Ladies team on their comprehensive win over Roscommon on Sunday. Several of the U16 panel attended the game and will hopefully have picked up some tips on how to improve their game. Preparation for U16s championship games continued earlier on Sunday with an intense training session in sunny Ballykinlar. Challenge game next Sunday 11th February against Armagh at St Malachy's High School, Castlewellan. Congratulations to Anna O Keefe who has been selected for NI U17 netball squad to play in the European championship in Dublin in few weeks. Also, well done to Eilis Murphy who retained her Ulster juvenile handball title yesterday playing in U16 doubles final. Eilis will represent Ulster in All Ireland semi-finals at beginning of March. Massive achievement for both girls- good luck in respective competitions.
Down U15 – BORN 2003 ONLY
U15 girls were back training this weekend in a drizzly Newry. The girls worked hard through a tough session as training steps up a gear in the last 6 weeks before competitive games begin. This Saturday is another chance to put in to practice what the girls have been working on as they take on Armagh in a friendly game in Portadown. There will be a bus for this game and *all * girls should travel to the game on the bus together. Details of pickup locations and times to be confirmed during the week.
Down U14 - BORN 2004 ONLY
The Down U14 ladies travelled to the GAA National Development Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin to take on Kildare on Saturday. The Mourne ladies performed well in both games, with some excellent passages of play against high-quality opposition. The ladies are improving week on week and learning from every game they play. The hospitality provided by Kildare was excellent and to play in first-class facilities was a great experience for the panel. The craic on the bus journey also helps to bond these girls together which is only a good thing. Players are now staking their place for the starting 15 for the upcoming Ulster championship, which is creating a lot of competition throughout the squad for every position.
Down U13 - BORN 2005 ONLY
Great session with the girls with the intensity increasing every week and it’s great to see the improvement on all the girls. This week will see the girls taking part in their sponsored Castlewellan 5k Park run and all support will be really appreciated – full details on social media.
The Down Ladies Gaelic Football team who beat Roscommon on Sunday. (photos by Jim Masson.)