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Down come out on top at Davitt Park

19th February 2024


LIDL Nattional Legaue Division 3 Round 4

Antrim 1-11 Down 3-12

Both sides opened by trading wides but when Down’s Niamh King was fouled, Natasha Ferris would open the scoring by slotting over the resultant free. At the other end Hannah Donaghy found Lara Dahunsi who opened Antrim’s account for the day but Bredagh’s Laosie Duffy powered through the middle to put the Mournewomen back in front.

Donaghy showed promise at the other end but her shot on goal missed the target and it was just too much of a stretch for Blaithín Ní Cathail to get on the end of it.

In the Antrim goal, Shauna Murphy made a clearance from a dangerous attack but referee Anthony Marron pointed to the spot, adjudging that the Down forward had been dipping for the ball at the time. Ferris converted from the kick to put the visitors in control.

Ciara Brown gave a captain’s performance on the day, and that was nowhere more evident than with her own shooting. Not normally credited as a prolific scorer, the St Paul’s woman hit 0-3, all from distance and all very impressive points.

Shauna Murphy faced three penalties in the tie

A second penalty for Down was put well wide but moments later King found Ferris again who palmed the ball into the net to stretch Down’s lead.

Dahunsi received a yellow before the break and Antrim trailed 0-5 to 2-5.

Ferris continued in the second half with another point but with Antrim reduced to 14 for the start of the second period, Cliodhna Logan made a number of penetrating runs through the Down defence and was unlucky to finish with only one point.

With Dahunsi back in the fray her impact was immediate, scoring from distance out on the right – the first of a number of scores for the St Paul’s star. Down kept the pressure up though, trading scores with Antrim as Anan Mulholland also got on the scoresheet.

With Antrim keeping pace and Carla McKenna adding a goal from play, Down were awarded a third spot kick, converted by Sarah Dougherty, putting some shine on the result, the visitors running out winners 3-12 to 1-11.

Carla McKenna grabbed a late goal for the home side

Antrim have three games left in the division, with Sligo the visitors to Davitt Park in two weeks time. Sligo have so far managed a point from a draw with Down on the opening day. The other games remaining are a St Patrick’s Day match-up with last year’s All Ireland semi-final opponents Clare and the visit of fellow high-flying Roscommon another week hence.

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