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2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Fermanagh 0-03 Down 1-11

Fermanagh Ladies v Down Ladies Sunday 15th

 

 

Fermanagh 0-03 Down 1-11

The score line would suggest that this game was a one sided affair , but the game was far from that . Those spectators who made the trip to Aghadrumsee were treated to a game of contrasting styles and a very exciting game of football. Down were competing for top spot in Division 2A , while Fermanagh who had been relegated the week before after Longford’s victory over Down , were competing for pride and continuing improvement .

In the corresponding fixture last season , Fermanagh conceded six goals against their senior opponents .Kyla Mc Manus from Newtownbutler was captain of the Fermanagh team on this occasion.

 

Down were to record the first score of the game inside of a minute of the start of the game , Mairead Traenor , struck the ball over from thirty five metres out with the aid of a strong breeze which was blowing straight down the park. Fermanagh were set up to deny the Down forwards space to operate in and the game developed into a tug of war between the Down forward line and the Fermanagh defence. The next score in the game wasn’t to come for another four minutes and it fell to Fermanagh full forward ,Ashling Moane, who scored a wonderful point from 30 metres out in the 5th minute after a flowing passing move that had started with Sarah Stewart in the Fermanagh goal kicking to half back , Clair woods who moved the ball quickly to midfielder, Caroline Little , who drove at the Down rearguard in her typical marauding fashion , she beat two Down defenders before laying the ball of to Ashling for the point .

 

Down were to retake the lead in the 8th minute of the game with a point from Kyla Treanor and further extent their lead with points in the 9th minute, Kylie Doherty, 11th minute, Caroline O Neill and 14th minute through Kyla Treanor . Down were being forced to shoot for their scores from 30 and 35 metres as the Fermanagh rearguard stood solid in defence of their goal line . The score now stood at Fermanagh 0-1 and Down 0-5 .

 

Fermanagh were working extremely hard in defence with Kyla Mc Manus leading by example and the returning Patricia Melanaphy having an exceptional game even at this early stage . Midfielders Caroline Little and Adele Gallagher were working very hard , covering ground from their own 45 metre line carrying the ball to the forward line who were working extremely hard . Ashling Moane and Sharon Little were leading the Fermanagh attack ably assisted by Mary Smith and Aileen Moane. Mary Smith was replaced by Roisin Mc Carron in the 15th minute .

 

Down added another point in the 16th minute through Kylie Doherty and continued to apply pressure to the Fermanagh goal but it was Fermanagh who were to have the first direct strike at goal in the 20th minute , after a good passing move out of defence the ball came to Caroline Little in midfield and she made a dashing run into the Down halfback line , laying the ball off to Aileen Moane who passed back to Caroline as she continued her forward movement , she beat two Down defenders and found herself 25 metres out where she laid the ball off to Ashling Moane who instantly laid back to Caroline , As soon as Caroline received the ball she came under pressure from a Down defender and had to shoot instantly from 14 metres out but unfortunately straight at the Down goalkeeper .

 

Down added a further 3 points in the 22nd minute and 25th minute through Caroline o Neill, and in the 27th minute through Kyla Treanor. Fermanagh were to have another goal chance on the stroke of half time as more good defensive play turned the ball over , Clair woods took the ball forward on the left side of the field and gave a great cross field ball to the very hard working and impressive Donna Maguire who carried the ball into the Down half , Donna launched a ball towards the Down goal and once again , Fermanagh Midfielder Caroline Little took a good catch and found herself in front of goal about 10 metres out with a defender to beat , the defender forced her wide and when Caroline’s shot at goal narrowly missed .

 

Half Time Score

 

Fermanagh 0-01 Down 0-09

 

 

The play in the 2nd half continued along the line of the 1st with Fermanagh defending their goal line as if the girls lives depended on it . Fermanagh started the 2nd half with Ashling and Aileen Moane in at Full Forward and Caroline and Sharon Little offering the link up play from the Midfielders who were now Adele Gallagher and the very impressive Donna Maguire . Fermanagh were to score the first point of the 2nd half in the 7th minute through Ashling Moane and then in the 1oth minute Adele Gallagher was to tag on another point for the Fermanagh girls . Finally in the 14th minute of the 2nd half the Down attack finally managed to breach the Fermanagh back line to get a shot in at goal , but Sarah Stewart in the Fermanagh goal stood tall and strong and saved point blank from………….

 

The 2nd half now developed into a war of attrition as Fermanagh counter attacked off ball taken from the Down forwards as they ran into the brick wall that was the Fermanagh defence . Eimir Keenan , Tara Hughes , Orla Reihill , Aine Mc Brien , Roisin Carron were all unsung heroes as Fermanagh dug deep and stood against the Down attacks . Fermanagh were to rue a number of missed chances and a goal bound shot , struck by Ashling Moane ,hitting the post and rebounding to the grateful arms of a Down defender . In the 21st minute Sharon Little suffered a shoulder injury and was replaced by Edel Campbell from Brookeborough who was making her senior debut .Fermanagh held their senior opponents scoreless for 24 minutes of the 2nd half and then it was Kylie Doherty who pointed for the Down girls . The impressive Tara Hughes was replaced in the 22nd minute through injury by Mary Smith at corner back .

 

Heartbreak was to follow soon after for the Fermanagh girls in the 26th minute as a high speculative ball in towards the Fermanagh goal rebounded from the goalkeepers attempts to keep it out , it fell into the path of the on rushing Lynsey Cunningham who put the ball under the diving body of Sarah Stewart , the Fermanagh goalkeeper . Down went on to add another point in the 33rd minute through Fionnuala Carr , but worse was to follow for Fermanagh as on the stroke of full time , Mary Smith received a serious leg Injury and was replaced by Carrie Mooney .

 

The Fermanagh management were extremely happy with the performance put in by the girls and the score line was not a reflection of the high work rate put in the Fermanagh girls . To people outside the tight knit group that is the Fermanagh ladies team this result would seem like another heavy loss , but bearing in mind that in last years corresponding fixture Down beat Fermanagh by 19 points , this performance was very pleasing .

 

There were to many outstanding performances on the day for Fermanagh particularly in defence but a number of players stood out , Kyla Mc Manus and Patricia Melanaphy were very good in defence and in the 2nd half Donna Maguire was excellent in midfield beside Adele Gallagher . The Fermanagh Forwards ploughed a lonely furrow at stages during the game but stuck to their tasks very well . Every Fermanagh player who was involved in the game gave everything they could and nothing more could have been asked of them . Fermanagh were without the services off Shauna Hamilton and Nuala Curran who were receiving British Universities All Star awards and Ashling Mc Caughey who was unavailable at the weekend .

 

 

Fermanagh Team

 

Sarah Stewart.. Tara Hughes.. Kyla Mc Manus.. Mary Smith.. Clair woods.. Patricia Melanaphy.. Orla Reihill.. Adele Gallagher.. Caroline Little.. Donna Maguire.. Sharon Little.. Aine Mc Brien.. Aileen Moane.. Ashling Moane.. Eimir Keenan..

Carrie Mooney.. Roisin Carron.. Shireene Greene.. Una Mc Hugh.. Terri Cassidy.. Edel Campbell

 

Final Score

 

Fermanagh 0-03 down 1-11

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