U21 County Champions 2017   23/10/2017


The Downs U21 team have won back to back county titles, following a narrow one point victory last Sunday in Cusack Park. A strong Rosemount/Castledaly side started the stronger, dominating the opening ten minutes of possession but only managing to lead 0-02 to 0-00. The Downs battled hard for the opening half ensuring their opponents only led  1-03 to 0-04 at the break, leaving a sense that it was all still to play for as the teams went down the tunnel. A Conor Murray goal early in the second half placed the Downs in the driving seat. However, our opponents came strong again and scored a goal of their own, followed by two quick fire points to give them a strong four point lead with just over ten minutes left. The Downs appeared to be struggling and victory appeared unlikely. But with four minutes of normal time remaining a quick thinking free from Dylan Carroll fed Niall Mitchell on the edge of the square, who managed to find the bottom corner while under pressure. Andrew Killmartin quickly levelled the game as his effort was punched over from the Rosemount goalkeeper. As the game entered injury time Rosemount took the lead once more to lead 2-09 to 2-08. With just under a minute of injury time remaining The Downs moved patiently into attack with Joe Moran, Phillip Doherty and Conor Coughlan were all involved before the ball ended up in the hands of Dylan Carroll and he coolly converted to tie the contest. The Downs won the kick out and then were awarded a free forty metres from the target, with injury time just up it was going to be the last kick, Niall Mitchell calmly step up a kicked the crucial point ensuring The Downs would be U21 County Championships for 2017. Well done to all involved including manager Steven Clearly and his selectors, Thomas McDonnell, Kieran Carroll, Marc Cunningham and Joe Corroon. Panel: Trevor Martin, Eoghan Moore, Mark Kelly (joint captain), Peter Murray (joint captain), Joseph Moran, Darragh Egerton,  Philip Doherty, Adam Loughlin, Conor Coughlan, Niall Mitchell, Conor Murray, Niall Gavin, Ian Martin,  Andrew Killmartin, Dylan Carroll, Paul Lynam, Philip Martin, Derek Conroy, Stephen Colgan, Donal Coughlan, Keith Carroll, Conor Gavin, Ciarán Nolan, Oisin Murphy.