Reports On Down Ladies Gaelic Football For Weekend

Reports on the Division 3 Ladies, Ulster U16s and U14s.

Reports on the Division 3 Ladies, Ulster U16s and U14s.

Lidl National Football League.

Division 3 Semi-Final.

Down Ladies bow out of the National League.

Down 3-07 Wexford 4-12.

Down Senior Ladies finished their National Football League campaign with a defeat to Wexford Ladies on Sunday in Parnell Park writes Ciara Gilroy, LFGA PRO.

The Mourne ladies got off to a quick start with Natasha Ferris scoring 1-1 in the first 2 minutes including a well-placed pass by Jess Foy which resulted in a goal. Wexford attack responded with Amy Wilson scoring 1-1 to bring the sides level in the first 5 minutes.

The Down U16 girls team. (U16 images by Maurice McKey),

Down defence worked the ball through the hands, that resulted in two well finished goals by Viv McCormack. Some poor passes by Down  and a high press from Wexford put pressure on the Down defence who dominated scoring in the second quarter to leave the score at half time Wexford were leading 3-10 to Down 3-02.

Down had the advantage of the wind in the second half, with Jess Foy scoring the first point in the 33 minute. Wexford were awarded a penalty shortly after this, which found the back of net.

The Mourne ladies chipped away at the lead to leave only 4 points between the sides at the second water break. However Wexford ladies dominated play in the final quarter and maintained their lead, ensuring their place in the Final.

Final Score: Down 3-07 Wexford 4-12.

Down Scorers: Natasha Ferris 1-05 (0-03 F), Viv McCormack 2-00, Jess Foy 0-02 (0-02 F)

Down Team: Caroline Kennedy, Orna Kelly, Ciara Byrne, Orla Duffy, Alice McAlea, Cara McArdle, Natalie McKibben, Adair Mooney, Kim White, Sarah Dougherty, Jessica Foy, Aoife Keown, Viv McCormack, Natasha Ferris, Orla Swail, Maeve Deery, Laoise Duffy, Aimee Greene, Aimee O’Higgins, Aisling Cull, Anna Marie Magee, Aoife McCarthy, Caoimhe Shannon, Eimear Fitzpatrick, Emily Martin, Joanna Boden, Kate McKay, Niamh Scullion, Oonagh Lavery & Paige Smyth

Subs: Paige Smyth for Mooney (23 mins), Oonagh Lavery for McKibbin (29 mins), Aimee Greene for McAlea (40 mins) & Laoise Duffy for White (40 mins).


Ulster Ladies U16 Championship Tier 2 Round 1

Anna McParland in action for the Down U16s.

The Down U16 ladies got their league campaign underway in a blustery Killeavy. This was the first competitive Inter-County match for most of the team and they acquitted themselves extremely well in difficult conditions and against a strong Armagh side. While the result wasn’t what Down would have hoped for there were a lot of positives for the team and the management.

The Down ladies got off to a rocky start conceding an early goal which Armagh worked well and which left Niamh McGivern in the Down goal with little chance. Armagh then added on a few more points, despite some valiant defending by Anna McParland and Emily Bingham-Abbott, before the water break.

Maebh Napier in possession for Down.

It was evident from the first quarter of the match that the Armagh team had settled quickly and they were displaying more confidence both on and off the ball. Grainne O’Rourke and Clara Lenaghan won a lot of ball in the Armagh forward line and Annie Stanfield turned over a lot of ball in the Armagh defence.

After the water break it was noticeable that the confidence in the Down team was growing and Erin Watson broke through for a nicely taken point. Aine Catney was starting to win more possession in the half forward line and Francesca Hall was breaking up the Armagh attacks.

The Down midfield duo of Maebh Napier and Roisin McKenna also became much more prominent and started to win some turn overs and pose some questions for the Armagh defence. Down did create a couple of good opportunities that might have led to a goal but the Armagh defence held strong and cleared its lines .

At half time the teams went in with Armagh leading by 1-5 to 0-2. Although Armagh had the lead the Down ladies must have been hopeful given that they had finished the half stronger and would be assisted by a strong wind in the second half.

Roisin McKenna in action.

However, when the second half got under way the Armagh team came out very strongly and worked the ball well despite the breeze. In particular, Armagh had strong runners off the ball, with Ciara Carr showing well, which gave the team lots of options when needed.

A couple of mistakes by the Down defence were capitalised upon by a strong Armagh forward line and Armagh added a couple of well taken goals to the score line early in the second half. This left the Mourne ladies with a mountain to climb

Down continued to battle strongly and Erin Watson and Abi Murphy worked hard for a couple of points each. Armagh responded however with a total of 6 points of their own in the second half and the game was over as a contest.

It looked like Down may get a goal when an under-hit free kick was dropped in the box but Armagh cleared their lines before the Down forwards could capitalise. The game ended 3-11 to 0-7 in favour of the Orchard County.

There will be better days to come for this Down team who showed plenty of promise and ability throughout. The ladies will continue to grow in confidence and their resolve and commitment was evident.


Ulster Ladies U14 Festival of Football Round 3

Down U14 Girls came into their third competitive match weekend looking to bounce back from 2 defeats in match day 2. Playing at home this weekend in Liatroim gave the girls, and management, a great incentive to get back to winning ways.

Down v Tyrone

The Down U14 team who played against Tyrone. (U14 images by Vince Morgan).

Played out in dry but windy conditions, Down looked to take advantage of playing with the wind in the first half.

We were playing ok and getting good scores on the board but Tyrone stayed in the game with 2 goals to leave the half time score 3-4 to 2-0.

Tightening up the midfield at half time Down playing now against the wind took the game to Tyrone. The match was very open and for every half chance that went in for Down, Tyrone missed theirs and Down ran out easy winners in the end.

Final score of Down 7-6 to Tyrone 2-3 was well deserved

Scorers for Down v Tyrone were Grace McMullan (1-3), Anna McArdle (1-1),  Isa McCarron (1-0), Clodagh Simpson (1-0), Orla Owens (1-0) and Annie McEvoy top scorer (2-2).

Good performances all-round the pitch. Best performers for Down v Tyrone were Annie McEvoy, Holly Donnelly, Anna McArdle, Eloise Austin, Isa McCarron, Grace McMullan and Captain Orla Owens but it was Zara Kelly who took the Player of the match award.

Down v Monaghan

The Down U14 team who played against Monaghan.

In this match Down played against the wind in the first half. Making 15 changes to the starting teams from the Tyrone match meant all 30 girls in the panel got starting a match.

The match was very tight from the off and was a very low scoring match with very little clear goal scoring opportunities. In a tight first half Down were happy to come at half time with a score of 2-1 to Monaghan with Cliodhna McGrath getting a great score from open play for Down.

Into the second half and we introduced a few fresh legs again as we aimed to take advantage of the wind. It wasn’t to be as although we took a 0-05 to 0-02 lead at one stage, Monaghan stayed in the match and were looking for the goal opportunity to again take the lead in the match. Some frantic defending and some very solid goal keeping kept Monaghan out and in the end the girls came through with a 0-05 to 0-04 win. The tightest of wins but well deserved on the day.

Scorers for Down v Monaghan were Holly Donnelly (0-2), and Lucia Keane (0-1), Grace Kelly (0-1) and Cliodhna McGrath (0-1).

Again a solid effort from all the girls in this match but best performers were Zara Greenan in nets, Ellen Farrell, Helen McGeough, Daire O’Shea, Hannah Cassin, Evie McHugh, Lucia Keane and Captain Aoife Wolfe but it was Grace Kelly who took the Player of the match award.

Two Good wins, 6 more points on the board but more importantly 2 good performances from the squad.