Sports

Coulter Calls It

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

DOWN will be bitterly disappointed with how they performed against Meath on Sunday, in what ultimately looked like a winner takes all game in Navan.

Down got off to the worst possible start conceding two goals in the first five minutes of the game. And then we battled back to three points just before half-time when Donal O'Hare looked to have been fouled and the referee did not give it, Meath went down the field to put the ball over the bar and instead of a two point game at half-time they we went in five points down and it was always going to be a struggle after that.

If truth was to be told Down were second best all over the field as Meath dictated the game from the first ball to the last and but for some slack play in the final third, Meath could have scored another three or four goals.

Down have a lot of work to do before this years Ulster Championship as the full back line was badly exposed on Sunday against a decent full forward line.

They are also struggling at midfield as now when teams get fitter they will just run this Down team off the park.

Down's only hope now is that Pete McGrath's Louth can do them a favour and beat Meath and then Down need to beat Tipperary in next weekends matches.

But having beaten Roscommon in Round Three Dowm should never have let themselves be in this situation.

Down still have a real good chance of getting to an Ulster Championship Final but for the development of Down football Division Three is not the place to be and as we have seen with Derry and Armagh, it is not an easy division to get out off.

The unfortunate thing now for the Down management is that training from now onwards will be so disjointed as the Down All-County Club Leagues get underway and players will now start to pick up injuries. And it's really hard to get numbers on the pitch with players playing so many games in a short period of time and with a lot to work it it's going to be a difficult few weeks right up until the starred system comes into play.

Armagh and Fermanagh will join Kildare and Donegal in what looks like a really strong Division Two next year and it looks so much stronger than this years'.

So it will be a really tough division for Armagh to get promoted from but if they can stay in that division it will be a big boost for the development of Armagh football. Most teams are equally matched in this division and it looks like a really competitive division to be involved in.

Armagh play Fermanagh in this weekends League Final and after last weeks game you would expect a lot more in terms of quality and excitement as the last game between these two teams was full of errors as the scoreline at the end suggested.

If Armagh have any aspirations of an ulster title this year they should be taking care of Fermanagh in Croke Park on Saturday evening.

The Down All-Leagues start this weekend with some really top class games on show.

It will be an interesting few weeks ahead as there is six or seven games in the space of three weeks.

It's great that the leagues are back in Down and it will give the club supporters lots of football to attend from here on in.

The usual suspects would be expected to push for honours this year and as normal you will have teams that will be using the league as preparation for the Club Championship in early August.

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