McClean kicks winner to seal magnificent Down comeback against Kildare

Lidl NFL Div 3 Rd 6

Abbey Grammar School, Newry 

Down v Kildare

Referee Kevin Bogle

HT score Down 0.09 Kildare 1.06

FT score Down 3.17 Kildare 4.13.

A late Grainne McCleann winner secured the points for Down and sealed a remarkable Mourne County comeback against Kildare. 

The hosts were ten points down at one stage – and seven behind going into stoppage time – before striking late. 

In a gripping seven-goal thriller, Grainne McClean kicked the winner for Down with a point deep in stoppage time. 

Her effort leaves Down second in the Division 3 standings – level on points with Wexford and only behind the Slaneysiders on scoring difference. 


Down were dogged, working their way into the game and finding themselves level at half-time – 0-9 to 1-6.

Ellen Dowling scored Kildare’s goal in the first half, benefiting from some Roisin Byrne vision from a quickly-taken free.

Both teams exchanged points early in the second half courtesy of frees.

Kildare’s second goal arrived via Siobhan O Sullivan, when she connected with a breaking ball that spun over the head of Down goalkeeper Christine McCarthy and into the net.

Byrne and Dowling pointed again for Kildare either side of points from Down’s Jes Foy and Natasha Ferris.

Byrne was in for her second, and Kildare’s third, goal on 44 minutes to give the Lilywhites a commanding 10-point cushion.

That goal was cancelled out a minute later where Kildare were caught at the back in a three-on-one situation and the only outcome was for Down’s ever dangerous Ferris to blast to the net.

Both sides traded points again and after squandering at least three goal chances, Kildare’s Grace Clifford eventually had the umpire raising the green flag as the team’s pressure paid dividends.

Second half substitute Mikaela McKenna increased the visitors’ lead tagging on a fine individual point.

McCartan and Byrne exchanged points again and Kildare were seven points to the good with two minutes left of normal time.

Unfortunately for Kildare, their hard work was undone in injury time.

Goals from Kate McKay and Natasha Ferris had the home side in the ascendancy.

Kildare were starting to panic and instead of slowing up play and keeping possession they allowed Down in to level the game with a point from Ferris, their star player on the day.

The game looked like it was going to finish in a draw but there was still time for late drama.

Rebecca McGuirk went short with her kickout, Kildare won possession but then lost it through a misplaced handpass.

Down could have finished with a goal but McClean opted to kick high and watched her shot drop just over the crossbar to seal victory for the hosts. 

Kildare will rue some missed opportunities from this game. They were in control down the home stretch but allowed Down back into contention. 




Down team

Christine McCarthy, Hannah Murray,Orla Boyle cpt, Laura Morgan, Cara Cunningham, Roisin Torney, Chara Laverty, Meghan Doherty, Clara Mulvena (0.01), Laoise Duffy (0.01), Jess Foy (0.053f),Aoife Keown, Grainne McClean (0.03), Kate McKay (1.01), Natasha Ferris ( 2.05)

Kyla Trainor, Leah Milligan, Aoibheann McCarville, Brea McKee, Cassie Moane, Sorcha McCartan, Megan O Boyle, Aimee Greene, Niamh Price, Allannah Megoran,Adair Trainor, Kiera Turley.


Subs used 

Adair Trainor for Cara Cunningham.

Sorcha MaCartan (0.01) for Laoise Duffy.


Kildare Team

Rebecca McGuirk, Shaun Kendrick, Amy Horan, Rachel Cribbin, Louise Scully, Laura Quigley, Claire Sullivan, Trina Duggan, Aisling Curley (0.01), Niamh Sinnott, Roisin Byrne cpt (1.08 6f), Grace Clifford (1.00), Ellen Dowling (1.021f), Siobhan O Sullivan (1.00), Roisin Forde (0.01).

Aoife Wosser, Aine Nash, Dervela McGinn, Orlaith Moran, Rose Mernagh,Rachael Corrigan, Michelle Curley, Molly Price, Eadaoin Connolly, Gemma Hartnett,Mikaela McKenna,Orla Keoghegan, Shannon Doheny, Emily Milner,Karen Kelly,Caoimhe Keoghegan, Emer Fogarty.


Subs used

Molly Price for Roisin Forde,Gemma Hartnett for Siobhan O Sullivan, Mikaela McKenna (0.01) for Laura Quigley. 


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