Five from Five for Fermanagh ladies

Ladies with Five wins behind them


National League Division 3A Down Ladies 1-8 –
Fermanagh ladies

Fermanagh travelled to Newry on Sunday knowing
that Down were not only undefeated but were coming
into this match with much superior scoring average
than their junior opposition. So it was no surprise
that the pundits predicted that Fermanagh would
give Down a good match but could not repeat last
years victory over a side that have brought back
the influential Downeys and play six of their
All-Ireland winning team of 2000. Five minutes
in to the match and opinions changed as it became
evident that the Fermanagh players wanted to write
their own script. Influential Fermanagh mid-fielder
Rose Connolly started the Fermanagh ball rolling
took when she carried through the middle to release
a 35 yard lob-pass to full-forward Gemma Scallon
who had timed her run to perfection and hardly
broke stride as she slid the ball past an exposed
Elaine McCourt in the Down goal.

Down, who won the toss and elected to play against
a wind that was always going to be a factor in
the match, pushed forward with their player of
the match centre half forward Michaela Downey
cutting through to force a foul 25 yards out and
earn a free which Lisa Morgan duly converted.
With the Fermanagh defence having to dig deep
for the next ten minutes it was against the run
of play that the Connolly-Scollan combination
struck again. A defensive clearance from Aine
McBrien found Connolly who watched as her shot
from 30 yards out hit the right upright. Scallon,
who could not be contained by the Down backs,
continued her forward run and collected the rebound
and virtually ran the ball in to the net for a
second goal.

A Down point from full forward Lisa Morgan was
a fair return for the dominance Down showed for
the next ten minute but two more points came of
the right boot of a rampant Scallon following
industrious play from forwards, Eimir Martin and
the roving Shauna Hamilton who was not constrained
by the No. 15 shirt. A further point from play
by Martin followed by a Caroline Little point
free, again following a foul on Scallon, brought
the half to a close.

Half-time; Down 0-3 2-5 Fermanagh.

With the wind behind them Down came back out for
the second half with a mission and again it was
Michaela Downey who carried their game to a pressurised
Fermanagh defence. Three points in the first five
minutes from full forward, Morgan (2) and Emma
O’Reilly was countered by a Carrie Mooney pointed
free but on 15 minutes Down’s Lisa Morgan received
the ball near the end line and forced her way
through for a fine individual goal to reduce the
margin to a single major score. With the wind
strengthening and Fermanagh forced deeper and
deeper Josie Boyle and her management team brought
in McGaghey, Woods and Melanaphy for the second
half to inject some new energy but over the last
15 minutes it was down to the resolve of players
like Donna Maguire, Shauna Woods, Shauna Hamilton
and Aishling Moane to win loose ball and push
out to lift the siege.

With five minutes to go a Carrie Mooney point
helped relieve the incessant pressure but only
momentarily as Down came back with two unanswered
points and pressed forward again. The next four
minutes were spent scrimmaging in the Fermanagh
square but in a final push forward Caroline Little
closed out the match with a point and referee
Seamus O’ Neill, (Armagh) finally blew up with
36 minutes on the clock, much to the relief of
the Fermanagh mentors and travelling support.




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