Defeated Down fight on

Defeated Down fight on

18 July 2018

DOWN’S camogs welcomed table toppers Cork to Pairc Esler on Saturday evening.

Things are very tight at the top of the table and a lot of people thought that is was winner take all.

The first half was nip and tuck, but Cork started to pull away towards half time and went in at the break leading by 0-8 to 0-4.

However, this was probably not a true reflection on the game. Niamh Mallon rattled the crossbar, captain Fionnuala Carr had a penalty saved by the Cork full back and Down were guilty of shooting a number of wides.

Cork, on the other hand, picked off some fine scores and were very accurate from frees. 

At the start of the second half Dearbha Magee came off injured and was replaced by Katie McGilligan.

Down never really got going at all and Cork began to pull away with scores from frees and play.

They played a very strong running and support game and the Down girls struggled to adapt to the packed defence and the Cork sweeper cleared a number of balls.

Down only scored two points in second half — one from a free by Niamh Mallon and one from Maria Higgins, who replaced Saoirse Sands.

At the final whistle the girls felt that it was all lost. However, when the result from the Laois v Derry game came through as a draw they realised that they have been given a lifeline.

If they beat Laois in their last game they will be in the All Ireland semi-finals.

The girls can play much better than they did on Saturday and they will need to if they hope to beat Laois away from home in three weeks’ time.

Down: Maria McNally, Clare McGilligan, Alannah Savage, Nicole Kelly, Catherine Rocks, Fionnuala Carr, Lizzy Wilson, Paula O’Hagan, Deirbhile Savage, Sara Louise Carr, Dearbhla Magee, Aimee McAleenan, Clara Cowan, Niamh Mallon (0-7), Saoirse Sands. Subs: Katie McGilligan for Dearbhla Magee, Maria Higgins (0-1) for Saoirse Sands, Catherine O’Hare for Lizzy Wilson.