Downey inspires win over Tipperary

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Intermediate Qualifier

Roscommon 1-15 Tipperary 2-11 (after extra-time)

A battling Roscommon edged out Tipperary after a titanic struggle that went to extra-time at Kinnity, County Offaly last Saturday evening.

This win means that Kieran Kilkenny’s side will now face Sligo in the next round of the qualifiers.

There was never much in the game throughout. Roscommon led by three points at half-time but a Tipperary goal early in the second half brought them back into the contest and it was nip and tuck after that.

Roscommon looked like they were heading out of the championship when they trailed by two points going into injury-time, but two Jenny Downey frees rescued them and in extra-time Roscommon were slightly the better team and they deserved their win.

In a game played in perfect weather conditions it was Roscommon who started best and, aided by a goal, fisted home by Siobhan Tully in the 18th minute, the Rossies led by 1-4 to 0-2 by the 19th minute.

Jenny Downey was in superb form from play and frees throughout, but Tipperary came back into the game in the second quarter.

Sarah Everard and Aisling McCarthy were very prominent and a well-taken goal from Everard on the rebound after a great save from Rachel Timothy brought them back into the match.

However a couple of points from Jenny Downey and another fine effort from Jenny Higgins saw Roscommon go in at half-time leading by 1-7 to 1-4.

In the 34th minute Tipperary were back to within a point when they were awarded a penalty which Aisling McCarthy converted. Aisling McCarthy was becoming an increasing influence on the game and when she kicked two points in a row by the 50th minute it brought the sides level.

Then two further Tipp points saw them ahead by two with only seven minutes left on the clock. But late points from Jenny Downey frees in the 59th minute and in the second minute of injury-time saw the sides level at Roscommon 1-11 Tipperary 2-8.

In the first period of extra-time Tipperary took an early lead with points from impressive sub Aoibhe O’Shea and Sheelagh Carew – which saw them open up a two-point lead – but just before the break in extra-time Jenny Downey reduced the margin to one.

Roscommon were the better side in the second period and they finished the stronger. Points from Jenny Downey, Laura Fleming and sub Amanda McLoone saw Roscommon assume control and although Aoibhe O’Shea did reduce the margin to one in the final minute, Roscommon had done enough to win and thus progress into the next round.

Roscommon: Rachel Timothy; Feena Beirne, Niamh O’Beirne, Honor Ennis; Sorcha Bruen, Sinead Kenny, Caroline Gunning; Jenny Higgins (0-1), Aisling McAulliffe; Siobhan Tully (1-0), Rachel Ryan (0-1), Laura Fleming (0-1); Jenny Downey (0-10, 8 frees), Martin Freyne (0-1), Nicola Tully. Subs used: Amanda McLoone (0-1), Sheila Brady, Caoileann Beirne, Triona Kelly.

Tipperary: Lauren Fitzpatrick; Maria Curley, Emma Buckley, Elaine Kelly; Louise Cahill, Anne O’Dwyer, Roisin McGrath; Sheelagh Carew (0-1), Aisling McGrath (1-4, 2 frees); Niamh Lonergan, Breeda Feeney (0-1), Lorraine O’Shea; Sarah Everard (1-2), Aoife Ryan, Laura Dillon. Subs used: Bernie Ryan, Aoibhe O’Shea (0-3), Maria Kinnane. Referee: Kieran McKeever (Armagh).

Player of the Match:

Jenny Downey (Roscommon)

There were many good performances in this highly competitive game. For Tipperary, Emma Buckley, Anne O’Dwyer, Shelagh Carew, Lorraine O’Shea and sub Aoibhe O’Shea were excellent on the day.

Aisling McCarthy was their outstanding performer and she drove her team forward at every opportunity.

For Roscommon, Rachel Timothy played well between the posts. Niamh O’Beirne, Jenny Higgins, Sinead Kenny, Siobhan Tully and Martina Freyne were excellent.

However our choice is Jenny Downey who was outstanding from play and frees. She is a true leader for this Roscommon team.