Training continues for the ladies and they are also entering the Crooked Lake Triathlon. The ladies will enter two relay teams to Camlough Triathlon on 1st June 2019. Their aim is to raise funds for Down LGFA and KBRT, a charity close to the hearts of the team and the county.
The girls travelled to Belfast to take on Antrim in the C Ulster final. After starting slow the girls found their way and put the Antrim back line under real pressure against a stiff breeze. When the half time whistle blew Down went in with a 3 point lead. After the break the girls started slowly and found it difficult to get back into the game, with Antrim applying a lot of pressure they worked their way into the lead which Down couldn’t break down. When the final whistle blew Antrim had won by 4 points. The management would like to thank All the girls who played their part throughout the year and parents who sacrificed their weekends taking the girls to and from games and training.
U15 – BORN 2004 ONLY
The two best teams in Ulster at U15 level went head to head in Belfast on Saturday in the Ulster Final. Antrim, a team that in the Ulster B final at U14 level last year beat Down by 16 points was the challenge this time again. This time around however, this was a very competitive affair between the sides. The Saffrons won the toss and elected to play with the breeze. It was the home side that came out of the blocks quicker to take a three point lead after just 3 minutes. Down eventually did settle to peg that back to one between the sides after ten minutes, with the Down defence turning over ball time and time again in that period. Antrim did pick off a further 4 points, with the mean Down defence refusing to allow Antrim to get through for a goal. The Mourne girls did raise the white flag before the break to leave it Antrim 0-7, Down 0-3 at half-time. The red and blacks had absorbed a lot of pressure in the opening half and going into the second half with a breeze at their back, were feeling very confident. This was evident as they came flying out of the blocks and got the first 3 scores of the second half to peg Antrim back to the minimum after just 3 minutes, and in that period hit the crossbar to be denied a goal. Antrim’s key players then stepped up and popped over a few points to lead by 5 with the Down forwards and midfielders working hard, allowing them to keep in touch with a couple of points of their own. With two minutes left and Down pushing up in search of a goal, they were caught on the counter and more open at the back than throughout the game, allowed Antrim to seal victory with a well taken goal. Down did get the last score of the game with the home side winning 1-13 to 0-9.
The Down girls, led by captain Ellie Carr, produced a very competitive and competent performance overall in this final, pushing a strong Antrim side all the way. The development of this squad from the same stage last year has been immense and the mentors are very proud of the achievements and performances of all 32 girls throughout the season. This is part of a journey and there is no doubt if these girls keep working hard, they will go on to reap rewards. The mentors would like to thank parents for their support and the girls for their super dedication and commitment over the last 7 months. The input and wise words from former Down senior ladies star Kyla Trainor on the day was inspirational and very much appreciated by the girls and mentors.0
The management would like to thank the kind donations from parents and to Turley’s Bar Downpatrick, Strangford Fuels and New York Pizzeria, Castlewellan which allowed the girls to receive specially engraved training tops to reward them for their superb run to the Ulster Final.
U14 – BORN 2005 ONLY
The girls travelled to Banagher, Co Offlay to compete in round one of the All Ireland Series. Kilkenny was first up for Down. From first throw in the Down girls were full of confidence and determination and saw off the opposition winning 9-10 to 0-00. Down then took on Waterford, complacency and avoidable mistakes allowed the Waterford girls to lead 0-06 to 0-04 at half time. After the break Down turned the game around, tightening up defence and developing play in the forward line, the girls scored 3-02 and held the opposition scoreless, final score Down 3-06, Waterford 0-06. The final match of the day saw Down take on Galway in what turned out to be a fantastic performance by both teams, the game was played at a relentless pace end to end, and at half time it was all square Down 1-2 Galway 0-05. Two points separated the teams with only ten minutes left to play when Second half fatigue hit Down, Galway capitalised with late goals and points to take the win, Down 2-02 Galway 3-09. This has been a great experience for the team, competing at an All-Ireland level against teams from outside Ulster. The management team thank Down LGFA for the support provided in accommodation and travel arrangements and to the LGFA, St Rynagh’s GAC and the organising team on the day. Thanks also to parents for the continued support in attending the games and kind messages sent on social media. Finally, thank you to all girls on the team for their respectfulness to coaches and their exemplary behaviour throughout the trip. Training continues on Tuesday evening 7 – 8.30 and will also be held on Saturday morning 11 – 12.30 in preparation for round two on 25th May.