Down grab their first points

Down Ladies get their first points


Ladies Football Suzuki National League Division Two Down
6-9 Roscommon 1-5

The Down Ladies Team got their first points of the season
with a thumping win over Roscommon in Tullylish. Despite
the very wet conditions, Down produced some tremendous passages
of play to overcome a brave Roscommon side. It was Roscommon
who took possession from the throw in, immediately sending
a long ball in to the Down half back line. However, Shamrocks
player, Sinead Fagan was out quickly and combined well with
Sinead Murphy to pass the ball out of the defence. Their
good work was rewarded when Lyndsey Cunningham’s subsequent
attack up the wing found Maeve McConville who duly pointed
for the first score of the match. Sixty seconds later, they
doubled their lead when Michaela Downey took the ball on
the right wing, before soloing past two Roscommon players
to hit the ball over the bar.

The Down Ladies

Despite their early attacks, Down were brought back to
earth with a bump as Roscomon came back with a goal. A strong
shot by half forward Michelle Carey was saved at point blank
range by ‘keeper Emma Madine only for full forward Emer
Casey to strike an unstoppable shot high into the left corner,
bringing them right back into the game. Despite the set
back, Down came back, dominating possession with Grainne
McClean pointing from a free on the twelve minute mark.
Michaela Downey and Kyla Trainor caused multiple problems
for Roscommon throughout the half with their strength in
possession. They combined to great effect just after the
half way point with Trainor passing to Downey from the wing
before the Clonduff player hit the back of the net. Downey
followed this with another point after some excellent fielding
and distribution from midfielder Cora McKibben. Further
scores from Roscommon’s Michelle Carey saw them narrow the
gap but as half time approached, Down still held the upper
hand. They went into half time leading 1-5 to 1-2, but given
their domination of possession, should have had a few more
scores on the board.

The second half saw Down play some of the best football
seen by the side this year. Michaela Downey set the scene
for the half by thumping the ball against the cross bar
after just thirty seconds. And while Downey hit the scores
in the first half (1-4), she turned provider in the second,
with a quick wide pass allowing Kyla Trainor to go on a
tremendous solo run before hitting the top left corner of
the net. That was to be the first of 3-2 that the Downpatrick
star would hit in the second half. Her scoring trail was
interrupted just twice by Roscommon with two points from
Michelle Carey from frees. Substitute Lisa Morgan, also
got in on the act with a cracking goal from ten yards out,
low to the keeper’s left. The basis for all of Down’s attacks
in the second half was the tenacity of their back line,
who snuffed out every Roscommon attack. Niamh Lennon, Bronagh
McCurry and Niamh McGowan were faultless with goalkeeper
Emma Madine making some key saves and performing well under
the high ball. In reality, the game was over as a contest
half way through the second period and when the referee’s
final whistle blew, a drenched Down team headed for the
shelter of the changing rooms very happy with their day’s

Bronagh McGuinness defends against
a Roscommon attacker

Managers Noel Haughey and John McCarthy were pleased with
the team’s performance saying, “the effort and determination
that the girls showed today was fantastic. We applied pressure
throughout the game, our blocking was excellent and our
finishing was good especially in the second half. Down have
showed a significant improvement with this win and will
be particularly pleased with the standard of fielding and
ball control displayed, especially given the bad playing
conditions. The defensive unit did all that was asked of
them and the powerhouse performances of Downey and Trainor
left them in a different league at the end.

Down Team: Emma Madine Bronagh McCurry Niamh McGowan Niamh
Lennon Eilish McConville (captain) Sinead Murphy Sinead
Fegan Aine Keary Cora McKibben Grainne McClean Kyla Trainor
Michaela Downey Kerrie O’Neill Lyndsey Cunningham Maeve
McConville. Subs Used: Lisa Morgan Management: John McCarthy,
Noel Haughey

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