Ladies Gaelic Football.
Lidl National League
Sunday 4th February
Results: Down 5 – 06 Rosscommon 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 Shiela 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 is 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 a 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 of attacking.
Down’s Jess Foy just missed a goal opportunity when flanked by defenders she make 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 run in an 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 MacAufliffe, Sinead Kenny (Captain), Roisin Wynne, Jenny Higgins, Laura Fleming, Rachel Fitzmaurice, Jenny Downey, Niamh Feeney, Shiela Brady. Subs: Sasha Lavin, Shannon Dowd, Coleen Caueen, Niamh Fleming, Louise Brady, Sarah Scally, Aoife Gavin.