Early scores set Down on their way to silverware

Down 2-12 Tipperary 0-11

Down 2-12 Tipperary 0-11

Down avenged a corresponding league final defeat by their male counterparts to Tipperary, by capturing the Bord Gáis Ladies NFL Division 2 title at a wet and windy Kiltoom today.

A superb second-half display by Player of the Match Aileen Pyers with four points in the closing 30 minutes paved the way for victory in a game which saw the Mourne County make a tremendous start.

In a fast-paced encounter, the Ulster side, who were in search of rare national silverware, burst off the blocks with a brace of goals inside the opening three minutes.

Down were not long in registering the opening score with just 17 seconds on the clock when full-forward Michaela Downey avoided the advances of Tipperary goalkeeper Niamh Noonan and slotted the ball to the net.

With Down making all of the early advances Tipperary looked stunned in the opening stages with midfielder Kyla Trainor adding a second goal two and a half minutes later after Downey's initial effort had just stopped inches from the goal-line.

But a resilient Tipperary bounced back strongly thanks to the efforts of free-taker Edel Hanley who slotted over four points before the interval as her side trailed by 2-5 to 0-7 at the break.

Tipperary cut the gap to two points within 13 minutes of the restart, however the Premier County were left unsettled by the sin-binning of full-back Maeve Corcoran as Down capitalised.

Pyers was on fire during that ten-minute spell as Down opened up a 2-10 to 0-11 lead.

Tipperary failed to score for the final 13 minutes of this game as Down piled on the pressure late on with scores from Eliza Downey and Pyers sealing a seven-point win.

In that spell, the lethal Pyers helped herself to four points and any hopes of a late Tipp revival were dashed when captain Jennifer Grant missed an injury-time penalty.

Down scorers: A Pyers (2f) 0-6; M Downey & K Trainor 1-2 each; F Carr & L Morgan 0-1 each

Tipperary scorers: E Hanley (4f) 0-5; S Lambert 0-2; C Peters, G O'Brien, M Morrissey & S Crotty 0-1 each

DOWN: B Russell; J Connell, E Downey (Capt), N Lennon; K O'Neill, A Downey, S Fegan; K Trainor, F Carr; G McClean, L Morgan, O Fegan; E Mulhern, M Downey, A Pyers. SUBS: L Cunningham for Mulhern (38); A Gosling for K O'Neill (46); C O'Neill for O Fegan (60 +4).

TIPPERARY: N Noonan; C Lambert, M Corcoran, B Ryan; A O'Dwyer, J Grant (Capt), S Costello; C Peters, A McDermott; G O'Brien, M Morrissey, S Lambert; S Crotty, E Hanley, C Walsh. SUBS: AM O'Gorman for Crotty (42); K Hackett for Hanley (60).

Referee: Des McEnery (Westmeath).

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