Disappointment for Limerick against Down in All-Ireland Ladies Junior football decider:
By Siadbh Redmond Limerick Leader Sport
THERE was disappointment for the Limerick Ladies Junior football team as they lost out to Down by two points, 1-7 to 0-8, in their Junior Ladies All-Ireland final played at Croke Park this Sunday.
Limerick remained right in the contest until the final whistle, but the gallant Shannonsiders were ultimately unable to find sufficient scores to reel in their opponents.
After only just dropping down to the Junior competition, Down will now go straight back up to the Intermediate ranks following this hard fought win over a gallant Limerick side.
Down scored a crucial goal in the second-half to keep them ahead of the Treaty ladies who were unlucky not to score a couple of goals of their own in the opening half.
The Ulster side got off to a flying start earning a free within the opening minutes of the game to get them on the scoreboard but Limerick replied quickly with Caoimhe McGrath slotting over two points for Graham Shine’s side.
These scores seemed to spur the Treaty side on as they took control of possession for large portions of the half. Down were not deterred and continued to fight back with full-forward, Natasha Ferris scoring two more points to put the sides level after 19 minutes.
Both sides had goal opportunities in the closing minutes of the half but failed to convert them. Down’s full-forward line did well to put vital scores on the board and help them them into a 0-05 to 0-04 lead at the break.
Limerick came out determined after the break and got two quick scores from Murphy and O’Leary had the Munster side one point ahead, 0-06 to 0-05, eight minutes into the second-half.
The turning point of the half came from Down’s substitute, Orla Swail, who scored a cracking goal mid-way through the second-half to put her side three points ahead.
Limerick attempted to fight back with a score from Leah Coughlan but a yellow card for O’Leary saw them down to 14 players in the closing minutes of the game.
Down remained ahead by two points to control the game and win on a scoreline of 1-07 to 0-08.
SCORERS: DOWN: Natasha Ferris 0-05 (0-02 frees), Orla Swail 1-0, Aimee O’Higgins 0-02. LIMERICK: Caoimhe McGrath 0-04 (0-03 frees), Deborah Murphy 0-01, Karen O’Leary 0-01, Leah Coughlan 0-01, Meadhbh MacNamara 0-01.
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DOWN: Amy McGivern, Aimee Greene, Ciara Byrne, Orla Boyle, Natalie McKibbin, Megan Doherty (C), Orla Duffy, Aoife Laverty, Aoife Brogan, Niamh Scullion, Viv McCormack, Laoise Duffy, Eimear Fitzpatrick, Natasha Ferris, Aimee O’Higgins. SUBS: Clara Mulvenna for McCormack (Half-Time), Orla Swail for Fitzpatrick (48 minutes), Rose Hyland for Laverty (48 minutes), Katie McKay for O’Higgins (52 minutes), Emily Martin for Doherty (57 minutes)
LIMERICK: Carol Bateman, Alva Quaid, Yvonne Lee, Meadhbh MacNamara, Grace Lee, Laura Walshe, Lauren Ryan, Róisín Ambrose (C), Fiona Bradshaw, Deborah Murphy, Karen O’Leary, Cathy Mee, Leah Coughlan, Amy Ryan, Caoimhe McGrath. SUBS: Katie Heelan for Bradshaw (43 minutes), Iris Kennelly for Ryan (49 mintues), Andrea O’Sullivan for McGrath (51 minutes)
REFEREE: Angela Gallagher (Dublin)