Down Under 12 Girls Travel to Co Clare

Down Under 12 Girls Travel to Co Clare
Down’s first ever Under 12 Girls football team made
the long journey to St. Joseph’s GAA grounds Ennis, Co. Clare to
compete in the Inter County Ladies football tournament on Saturday
4th November 2006. The Down team were the only Ulster participants
in the tournament and the team was representative of a number of
Clubs including Carryduff, Bosco, Bredagh, Bryansford, Saul, Downpatrick
and Saval.

The Down girls were drawn against Galway, Kerry and hosts Co. Clare
who they faced in their opening game. The mourne girls started brightly
with the early pressure they exerted being rewarded with a point
confidently taken by Aoife Sheridan (Bredagh). Shortly afterwards,
Bosco Newry’s Catriona Doran kept the momentum going with another
well taken point for the County. The Clare team responded with two
points in quick succession but Down took the lead again when they
were awarded a penalty, superbly executed by Catriona Doran. Down
created several other opportunities through Niamh Tumelty (Bosco)
Orla McLogan ( Saval) and Caoimhe McKay (Bryansford) but in the
dying seconds of the half the team were dealt a cruel blow when
the host team snatched a goal to draw level. Their resolve was again
tested in the second half as Clare gradually dominated proceedings.
Down defended admirably with superb performances from ‘keeper Rachael
Savage (Bryansford), defenders Orla Boyle (Downpatrick), Rachel
Goldsmith (Bredagh) and midfielder Ciara Crosbie (Carryduff). Nonetheless
Clare scored two further goals to claim victory. Final score Clare
3.03 Down 1.05.

Down’s next opponents were Galway. They again competed extremely
well with notable performances from Gemma Mullan (Bredagh), Orla
McKay (Carryduff) and Meghan Doherty (Carryduff). In the midfield
Emma Gray (Bosco) was everywhere while forwards Orla Holland (Saul)
and Julia Hinds (Bredagh) tried hard against a resilient defence.
However Galway’s pre-tournament preparation paid dividends and they
finished the game deserved winners, 4.06 to 0.00. Finally Down faced
Kerry in a more even match up and while their determination was
fantastic throughout the field, “the Kingdom” held the
upper hand as the game reached half time. In the second half, performances
from Rachael McEvoy (Saval) Aine Connelly (Downpatrick) Catherine
Hamilton (Saul) and Fiona McCauley (Carryduff) ensured the Kingdom
didn’t have everything their own way. Fiona McCauley (Carryduff)
converted Down’s only score with a fine strike between the posts.
Final score 1.06 to 0.01.

In the first ever performance by a Down U12 team, the players can
be very proud of their performances against what are some of the
strongest counties in the Ladies game. The young team performed
well as a unit and their experience should auger well for future
development. The team were warmly received by Co. Clare Ladies Chairman,
James Lafferty, who thanked them for making the journey and extended
an invite to next year’s tournament. Special thanks to all the clubs
for supporting the girl’s trip to Co Clare, where.

County Kerry were the eventual winners beating Dublin in the final.

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