Down Require Extra Time to Overcome Leitrim Challenge

Down v Leitrim - TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Intermediate Championship Semi-Final


KYLA Trainor’s extra-time goal settled Saturday’s TG4 All-Ireland ladies intermediate football championship semi-final against Leitrim as Down advanced to a September 28 decider against Roscommon or Fermanagh.

Down are through to a first All-Ireland final since 2005, when they beat Roscommon, and captain Trainor emerged as the matchwinner against Leitrim.

Two late points from sub Aibhle Clancy brought Leitrim level at 2-9 to 0-15, and ensured that extra-time would be played at Cusack Park in Mullingar.

But Down regrouped and Trainor netted the Mourne County goal in the first minute of extra-time, a palmed finish from Lisa Morgan’s pass.

Leitrim goalkeeper Michelle Guckian denied Aileen Pyres midway through the first period, before the Connacht champions cut the gap back to two points when Michelle Heslin took her match haul to 1-3.

There was just one score in the second period of extra-time as Trainor registered a point four minutes from time.

But that was good enough for Down, who had led by eight points in the first half of normal time.

Leitrim grabbed the opening goal of the match in the tenth minute when Heslin finished a wonderful team move.

But they would not score again for 17 minutes and in that time, Down added ten points without reply to lead by 0-11 to 1-0.

Heslin stopped the rot for Leitrim with a 27th minute point before Guckian kept them in it with a brilliant double save.

Playing against the breeze in the first half, Leitrim hung in grimly and Áine Tighe popped over a free before half-time to leave Down 0-11 to 1-2 in front.

Leitrim’s Áine Heslin was sent to the sin-bin early in the second half but the Westerners still managed to claw their way back.

Tighe scored Leitrim’s second goal 12 minutes from time before Claire Owens rattled the Down crossbar with a fabulous strike.

Leitrim were three points behind, 2-6 to 0-15, when Róisín Fowley blazed over the crossbar with a goal for the taking.

But Clancy, who came on as a 49th minute sub, popped up with two cracking late points to take the game into extra-time.

The momentum appeared to be with Leitrim but Down, last year’s beaten semi-finalists, had enough left in the tank.


Scorers for Down: A Pyres 0-8 (6f), K Trainor 1-3, S McNamee 0-2, K McMullan, O Fegan & L Morgan 0-1 each.


Scorers for Leitrim: Á Tighe 1-4 (0-4f), M Heslin 1-3, A Clancy 0-2, R Fowley 0-1.


DOWN: S Brannigan; H Murray, E Downey, O Boyle; J Magee, N McGowan, S Fegan; K McMullan, M Doherty; L Cunningham, S McNamee, O Fegan; M Grant, K Trainor, A Pyres.


Subs: L Morgan for McNamee (40), C McKibbin for Murray (48), E Kaane for Magee (50), J Foy for Grant (54), C Mulvenna for O Fegan (68), J Magee for McGowan (76).


LEITRIM: M Guckian; M Farrell, M Stenson, J Bohan; S Kerrigan, L Brennan, A Bohan; Sarah McLoughlin, A Conlon; A Heslin, D Ward, C Owens; M Heslin, Á Tighe, R Fowley.


Subs: N Tighe for Ward (28), A Clancy for A Heslin (49), Shauna McLoughlin for Farrell (52), C Beirne for Bohan (65), D Ward for Fowley (70).


Referee: M Doherty (Wexford).


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