2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Ulster Senior Championship Semi Final




It was a case of Down but not out for the Mourne girls on Sunday
as they suffered a seven point loss to the Monaghan Ladies team
in the first leg of the Ulster Championship semi finals.

Playing in front of a bumper crowd in Downpatrick, Down got off
to the better start with a point on the five minute mark from
Michaela Downey. The Clonduff player followed this up two minutes
later with another score following good set up play by the half
back unit. Monaghan got onto the score sheet after ten minutes
with a well taken point from Niamh Kindlon from the 25 yard line.
Neither team held the advantage at the end of the first quarter
as a combination of missed chances and solid marking on both sides
kept the scores to a minimum. Sinead Murphy was everywhere for
Down, getting the breaking ball and setting up the attacks with
Eilish McConville equally impressive in pushing forward from the
back. Donaghmoyne player, Hazel Kingham brought the sides level
following a neat interplay with Niamh Kindlon, who was at the
centre of everything for Monaghan. Down were unlucky not to hit
the back of the net on the halfway mark as a high ball in from
Michaela Downey’s free was caught cleanly by Kyla Trainor. The
Downpatrick player struck for the net only to see ‘keeper Linda
Martin make a great save low to her left. They created another
great chance a few minutes later when Eilish McConville hit a
low ball up the right wing to Michaela Downey. She proceeded to
beat two players before striking the ball low and narrowly to
the left of the post, much to Monaghan’s relief. As the half time
whistle approached, Monaghan took the lead for the first time
as Hazel Kingham took her second score of the game. However Down
were to have the last say of the half when Michaela Downey received
the ball fifteen yards out and retained possession well before
taking her chance. As the teams headed for the changing rooms,
there was nothing between them at 0-3 each.

Down suffered a sucker punch at the start of the second as a
long ball into the square sneaked under the crossbar giving ‘keeper
Emma Madine no chance. Picking up the pace of their game, Monaghan
followed this with another score from the very impressive Niamh
Kindlon. The Monaghan half forward line of Kindlon, Theresa McNally
and Charlene Graham provided problems for the Down back line with
some strong runs and interplay through the centre of the field.
The standard of tackling and harrying of the Down backs was notable
though with Annaclone player Eliza Downey impressive in restricting
her player down the wings. Down got another chance to narrow the
scores as Maeve McConville made a strong run down the right hand
side before striking the ball across goal. Linda Martin came to
her team’s rescue again however with another impressive save from
the powerful strike. Down’s luck again deserted them when Michaela
Downey’s free blasted onto the cross bar however she followed
up well to point for the Mourne county. Monaghan’s defence proved
tough to break as they restricted the supply of ball in to Downey
and Kyla Trainor but the game really started to drift away from
the Down girls when Therese McNally latched onto a kickout before
hitting the net to put her team up by six. Further scores by Kindlon,
Graham and Kingham threatened to make the second leg match redundant
but Down rallied well with points from captain Eilish McConville
and midfielder Patricia McKibben. With the gap at seven points,
Down were again unlucky with the last effort of the game as a
brilliant ball across goal from substitute Sonya McGaw was collected
well by Downey who unleashed a powerful strike only for the cross
bar to come to Monaghan’s rescue again. Final score Down 0-7,
Monaghan 2-8

So with the first leg of the Championship semi finals complete,
Down will be left to rue some missed chances in the first half.
While the team did show glimpses of their potential with their
back line performing well and some neat interplay around the middle
of the field, they will need to up the supply to the forwards
and take their chances if they are to progress to the Ulster Final.
With the second leg in Clones on Sunday, the aggregated nature
of the Championship means Down need to win by eight points to
progress to face either Armagh or Tyrone. On a brighter note,
the Down U16 team reached the Ulster final with a resounding 8-12
to 0-4 win over Derry. In what was a great team performance, the
main scorers were Cara Laverty, Lorraine Havern and Grainne Kelly
who also featured for the senior team.



1. Emma Madine

2. Aine Keary

3. Eliza Downey

4. Aveen McEvoy

5. Eilish McConville

6. Aoibheann Downey

7. Geraldine Campbell

8. Michaela Downey

9. Patricia McKibben

10. Grainne McClean

11. Lyndsey Cunningham

12. Maeve McConville

13. Sinead Murphy

14. Kyla Trainor

15. Kerry O’Neill

Subs used : Sonya McGaw

Grainne Kelly


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