Dominant Down thump Cavan
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Cavan 0-11. Down 3-09.
DOWN Ladies had a tough away game to last year's All-Ireland Intermediate Champions, Cavan, in their home ground of Breffini Park, however it was Down who came out convincing winners, writes Barry McConville.
The Down girls made all the early play with both Lauren Cunningham and Jordan Magee cutting through the Cavan defense in the opening minutes with Magee's shot crowded out and Cunningham's shot on goal pushed out for a 45'. Down had set their stall out early, and Cavan struggled with the high tempo pace of the game in the early stages.
The scoring was opened by Aileen Pyers with a free from a difficult angle, which was soon followed by two more points from frees for Pyres. It wasn't until the seventh minute that Cavan got on the score sheet with a pointed free, but it was Down making all the play in the first half.
A Down goal kick found its mark when Meghan Doherty gathered the ball up and found Cara Cunningham making a run on goal. Cunningham took the ball on the run and buried it solidly in the back of the net. A just reward for Down who had been making all the play up to this stage.
Cavan hit back with a point from play which incidentally turned out to be their only point from play in the first half with the other 6 from frees. Down allowed Cavan to come back into the game at this stage with some scrappy play allowing Cavan to equalize going in at the half.
Half-time: Cavan 0-07 Down 1-04
The second half was again played at a high tempo and Down looked comfortable with the ball confidently working their play. Cara Cunningham had been instrumental in midfield in the first half and was working as equally hard in the opening of the second half when an accidental clash of heads with a Cavan player resulted in her receiving treatment and substituted as a precaution. Jess Foy came on in Cunningham's place and made an immediate impact on the game by taking a great solo run and squarely putting the ball in the back of the Cavan net.
Aileen Pyres was soon on the score sheet again pushing Down's lead out to four points, with Ann Marie making her debut and getting a fine score also, Down did however take their foot of the pedal slightly and allowed Cavan back in the game again, gifting them three points from frees without reply.
However, Down still led by a point when Gráinne Kelly found the net after taking a good ball from Kyla Trainor and the Down girls again stepped it up a gear. A dominant Down now coasted home with Hannah Murray taking a fine point from play followed by one from Kyla Trainor and a further pointed score from Kelly was quickly followed by two from Lisa Morgan in the closing minutes of added time.
The Mourne Ladies were deserved winners and will face an equally tough task on Sunday (March 9) when the Ulster Champions Fermanagh come to Down.
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