Down demolish Fermanagh to win ladies' All-Ireland intermediate football final

Kyla Trainor hits unanswered 2-2 in a devastating blitz

Down’s Kyla Trainor gets away from Kyla McManus of Fermanagh during Sunday’s All-Ireland women’s Intermediate final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne

Down’s Kyla Trainor gets away from Kyla McManus of Fermanagh during Sunday’s All-Ireland women’s Intermediate final at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne

 

Down 6-16 Fermanagh 1-10

Mark Copeland’s Down demolished Fermanagh at Croke Park on Sunday

Down, despite lining out without star forward Kyla Trainor, were too good for Fermanagh as they repeated their Ulster final victory over the same opposition.

Three first-half goals helped to establish a 3-6 to 0-6 half-time lead for Down and they piled on the misery in the second half.

Down could even afford to have two players sent to the sin-bin during the game. Corner back Orla Boyle was yellow-carded in the 20th minute and captain Niamh McGowan suffered a similar fate 12 minutes from the end of normal time.

But Fermanagh’s desperate forgettable day was made even worse by a yellow card of their own, when substitute Maura McDonald was sent to the line eight minutes from time, soon after she had replaced Tara Little.

Down sent on Trainor in the 20th minute and she hit an unanswered 2-2 in a devastating blitz. Sinéad McNamee had netted Down’s fourth goal earlier in the second half and Fermanagh were simply overrun as the Mourne County ran riot.

The signs were ominous for Fermanagh from an early stage as Aileen Pyres, who bagged 1-5, scored the opening goal in the ninth minute. After Pyres blasted a long-range effort off the crossbar, the full-forward followed up with a sharp soccer-style finish to net the rebound.

Lauren Cunningham scored Down’s second goal in the 20th minute and Fermanagh were dealt a crippling blow on the stroke of half-time, when Lisa Morgan goaled from a penalty with the final kick of the half.

Down, who will play senior championship football next year, pressed home their superiority early in the second half, opening with a run of four unanswered points. Gráinne McClean had a goal ruled out and Down also missed a second penalty when Lisa Morgan was denied by Fermanagh goalkeeper Shauna Murphy, who also blocked the follow-up effort. But Down did break through for a fourth goal, scored by McNamee, and the scene was set for Trainor to display her remarkable range of skills to rub further salt into the Fermanagh wounds. Caroline Little, who continued to take the fight to Down, registered Fermanagh’s only goal with ten minutes remaining but it was mere consolation against the deserving winners of the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup.

DOWN: S Brannigan; O Boyle, E Downey, J Magee (0-1); O Fegan, N McGowan, S Fegan (0-1); K McMullan, E Kane; G McClean (0-1), L Cunningham (1-2), S McNamee (1-1); M Grant, A Pyres (1-5, 0-2 frees), L Morgan (1-1, 1-0 pen). Subs: K Trainor (2-4) for Grant (20 mins), M Doherty for McClean (46 mins), J Foy for McNamee (50 mins), G Kelly for Morgan (54 mins), H Murray for S Fegan (55 mins). FERMANAGH: S Murphy; R Gallagher, K McManus, S McQuade; M Monahan (0-1), T Little, D Maguire (0-1); C Little (1-4, three frees), Á McHugh; S Hamilton, A Moane (0-1), J Doonan (0-1); S Little, N Connolly (0-2), M McDonald. Subs: L McFrederick for McQuade (35 mins), N Daly for McHugh (39 mins), M McDonald for T Little (50 mins), C Cadden for Doonan (56 mins), S McCausland for S Little (56 mins). Referee: M Doherty (Wexford). ends

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