Downpatrick Disappointment As Burren Sail To The Top

Down GAA

Down Ladies Gaelic Football Intermediate League

Report By Conor Curran

RGU Downpatrick- 3:06 Burren- 4:11

Thomas Russell Park was the setting for the top table clash between RGU and Burren. Downpatrick, who last week won by a narrow three points over rivals Kilcoo started to regain confidence after crushing defeat three weeks ago away to Mayobridge.

dn_screenIt wasn’t until the eighteenth minute until a young Downpatrick side opened their account through a point scored by Leah Milligan after a foul on the joint captain, Kyla Trainor. By this stage Downpatrick had already conceded 1:06 without reply. The Hoops saw a plethora of shots fall wide of the posts in the first half to the disappointment of the team’s management.

Downpatrick’s Adair Trainor provided the green and whites with some confidence as her tackling and high catching provided The Hoops a lifeline a number of times in the first half. At the other end of the pitch the Burren goalkeeper provided a fingertip save to deny Kyla Trainor a sniff of goal that would hopefully kick start a RGU revival.

Handling from the Burren team looked to be on top form as they instantly replied with a point at the other end of the field. Downpatrick’s defence looked stretched as the attacking threat proved to be too much for Mary Kearney and the young back line. However, a mistake in Burren’s defence allowed Kyla Trainor to capitalise and score another point for Downpatrick. From the kick out Downpatrick regained possession to send Kyla through on goal again, however the St Mary’s goalkeeper provided another great save.

In the second half the fixture had looked to be turned on its head. From the referee’s first ball, link up play between Orla Boyle and Eirn McAuley allowed Kyla Trainor to hit the back of the net within thirty four seconds which they hoped would galvanise the team. However Burren replied immediately with a goal of their own forty one seconds later. By this stage there was a nine point deficit between the two teams in favour of St Mary’s.

Rosin Torney provided The Hoops with an emphatic spell in the match as the midfield was dominated by her presence. Burren were unable to handle the sharp hand passes provided all over the field and it looked at last the way Marty Brady wanted his girls to play. Burren’s players looked rattled. As the further the match continued the more Downpatrick found their rhythm which allowed long periods of passage play between the hooped players. The tense exchanges subsided as a Downpatrick goal felt almost inevitable. Burren were starting to worry that the number of wides in both halves would come back to haunt them.

An Aoife Barns strike into the net saw Downpatrick further believe they could win the tense fixture and cement themselves at the top of the intermediate league. Yet, this wasn’t to be. Experienced players such as Jenny Fitzsimmons, Aisling Flynn and Olivia Keown we unavailable for selection and may have possibly been the lynch pin between gaining scores and winning the crucial tie.

In the final stages of the match it was becoming clearer that Kyla and Orla’s persuasive battle had been in vain. Lucy Prenter, the late substitute, scored the last point for Downpatrick in a tense and exciting match in Thomas Russell Park.

This coming Saturday the ladies will travel to Loughinisland where they will face last year’s Intermediate Championship finalists which will prove to be an intense and nail biting prospect.