NY GAA: The business end of the season is here
All to play for reamining teams in the championship
Down 3-9 Leitrim 0-13
A rematch from 2008 again went the way of Down footballers as they returned to the senior football final with an excellent win over Leitrim on Sunday.
Leitrim had beaten their opponents on two occasions this season, but third time was a charm for Down as they used three goals to put the game beyond doubt.
The one black mark on the contest was an unsavory closing when a brawl developed. Suspensions should be handed out, but don’t hold your breath as the rule remains in the New York code book that a player may appeal any decision before the beginning of next season.
It allows for some to have free reign in their last outing which does not make any sense. It certainly needs to be addressed.
Leitrim opened brightly with Jamie Doolin having the first clear chance. His shot came back off the woodwork, however, with a goal at his mercy.
The next attack netted the opening score as Pat Madden set up Scott Conroy. Madden had the third point as he won the throw up after the referee penalized hesitancy by the Down men with taking a free for an early Leitrim lead.
Once Down settled down Robbie Moran pointed from play after Sean Munnelly and Michael Sloan did the approach work. Michael O’Rourke had a goal chance for Down when his touch from a Michael Sloan cross went agonizingly wide.
The sides were level shortly after as Sloan found Moran after Munnelly was fouled. Pakie Downey added to the scoring as he found Munnelly with an intelligent pass, but Leitrim pulled it back by grabbing two points from frees.
The Leitrim revival was short lived when a brace of goals by Down blew the game open. The first came when Gareth O’Neill finished a five man attacking move, the second when Sloan found Downey with a beautiful pass and the big man found the net.
Leitrim did respond with two points, but the foundation for the Down win was firmly in place. The sides swapped scores before the half arrived, but Down were holding a 2-4 to 0-7 lead at this stage.
Down continued to apply the pressure after the break as O’Neill was fouled. Moran extended the lead with the free.
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