Football

Lidl National League Division Three: Down see off Sligo while Antrim lose to Wexford

Down's Natasha Ferris is the top scorer across all championship grades in ladies' football this year
Down's Natasha Ferris is the top scorer across all championship grades in ladies' football this year Down's Natasha Ferris kicked the winning point in their Division Three victory over Sligo
Lidl National Football League Division Three

NATASHA Ferris kicked the winning point for Down as the Mourne ladies recorded a crucial 1-10 to 1-9 win over Sligo at Eastern Harps GAA.

The victory has moved Peter Lynch and Caoibhe Sloan’s side off the foot of the table and given them a huge boost as they head into another crunch game against fellow Ulster side Antrim this weekend.

Down led by a point at half-time, 0-6 to 1-2, Sinead Regan’s goal just before the break bringing the home side right back into the game after finding themselves four points adrift, 0-5 to 0-1 after 18 minutes.

The second half was a nip and tuck affair, with the sides were level four times.

Down’s Niamh King and Sligo’s Leah Kelly traded pointed in the opening minutes after the resumption before Rianne Smith brought the home side level from a free in the 37th minute.

King replied for Down to edge them ahead once more, but Lauren Normaly tied it up at 1-5 to 0-8 before Smith put them into the lead with a converted free, 1-6 to 0-8, in the 39th minute.

It was Down’s turn to find the equaliser and they did so through Laoise Duffy in the 43rd minute but Sligo retook the lead once more with the game in the final quarter.

The next crucial score went Down’s way when substitute Niamh McGrath found the back of the net to put them two ahead, 1-9 to 1-7.

Sligo though, came back again with two unanswered points through and the sides were level for the fourth time with seven minutes to go. There was just one more score after that and it crucially when Down’s way with that converted point from a free from Ferris with two minutes to go and they held on for a vital win.

Antrim ladies v Louth Ladies at Davits Park
Lara Darahunsi (right) was among the scorers for Antrim against Wexford (Mal McCann)

ANTRIM were denied a first win of the season by a Caitriona Murray goal four minutes from time as Wexford turned defeat into victory by the narrowest of margins, 1-3 to 0-5 at St Patrick’s Park.

The Saffrons had to play the second half with 14 players after Theresa Mellon was shown a red card late in the first half but that did not seem to faze them as they led by four points, 0-5, to 0-1, with 10 minutes to go in what was a low-scoring affair.

There were just three points registered in the first half but it was Antrim with the 0-2 to 0-1 advantage at the break.

This two points came in the first eight minutes from Maria O’Neill and Lara Dahunsi, and although they didn’t add any further scores, Wexford managed just one point, finally getting on the scoreboard in the 15th minute through Tara Doyle.

Scores continued to be at a premium and it was Dahunsi who hit all three of Antrim’s second half points, two from frees and one from play to put them 0-5 to 0-1 ahead in the 50th minute.

Wexford got their first score of the half in the 52nd minute through Aisling Halligan and Grace Donovan added another three minutes later before Murray grabbed that all-important winning goal to take the three points and Antrim’s wait for a first win goes on.