Down Forum

Down v Louth

(Oldest Posts First)

Has anyone seen the assessment of Down on the Louth & Proud website? It's a fair assessment of us - slow defence, muddled midfield

Down Traits

Its the first of the relegated teams from last season we face and they still posses those Division 1 traits.

They finished strong. In both their games so far they gained their points with late surges....
First point gained was a comeback at home to Monaghan when they were 7 points down in the second half and they did what we couldn't beat Armagh, but it was only after a late goal and point in injury time.

This tell me that their division 1 conditioning and experience over the years is standing to them and Like all other games we've played this year it will go the 70th plus minute.

They also posses a strong bench to make an impact late in games as well as that they have a strong panel considering none of these players have featured for them so far...

Missing in Action
Dan Gordon,
Ambrose Rogers,
Brendan McVeigh,Peter Fitzpatrick,

Conor Laverty,
Kalum King,
Benny Coulter (who only played a few minutes as a late sub v Armagh.)

However, These lads are beatable

here's how...

Curb their Danger Men

Mark Poland left is their play maker and instrumental to the Down forward line. Stop him and they stop functioning. Paddy Reilly at centre back for us is too green for him, thats not a slight on Paddy as majority of experienced defenders are too green for Poland!!
A fit JOB should do the trick and if not, then Gerry Hoey just goes on the tour of Newry with Poland for the evening.
Donal O'Hare right is their top scorer he is deadly accurate from free's and a real handful from open play. Pop is our number 1 inside man marker proved it so far this season already.

Area's to Exploit

1. Muddled Midfield
Down have used 3 midfielders so far.
Kevin McKernan Ryan Mallon neither natural midfielders and recalled Gary McArdle who was subbed off in the opening game and hasn't featured since.
Dan Gordon, Kalum King and Ambrose Rogers are still unavailable
Peter Fitzpatrick since his return from Oz has made minimal impact.

We need to dominate this area of weakness Down possess.

They will more than likely start with McKernan and Mallon in the middle on Saturday night and what they lack in the air they make up for in mobility. They get through a serious amount of work and can pop up with a point or two.
Our extra defender (Crilly) will be earmarked with this duty of picking up their forward runs and allow PK and Donnelly the sole responsibility of winning clean possession, which they should do on height advantage alone.

This advantage will give us possession and then a foothold in the game.

2. Paceless Defence

I'm pretty certain any one of the 6 louth forwards isolated with Dan McCartan(above) will do him for pace. I think I would even do him for pace! We need to be aware of his match up at all times going forward. Dream scenario would be Derek Maguire.

Down have never been known for their Defence and Saturday night will be no different by default they seem to have resorted back in to time to the selection of their halfback line and the overall look of their backs it seems a disjointed unit in general. Hopefully we can make hay in there.


So, there you have it, plenty of food for thought there.

Hopefully I've given the most pessimistic Louth fan reasons for hope and, when you are staring down the barrel of a relegation gun, Hope is a powerful thing!

ajdoyle78 (Down) - Posts: 520 - 28/02/2014 11:48:25    1552279


Wow! Big statement! makes for a great match, hope we stand up to the challenge. Come on the down men tomorrow night!

offtheground1 (Down) - Posts: 128 - 28/02/2014 12:56:29    1552328


It's funny cause it's true! Especially about Dan McCartan. But Wee James will never drop his brother, or there'd be no Sunday roast for him at his dad's.
In saying that, we should have too much for an Lú, especially at home, but if we revert to the 'tactics' against Tír Chonaill in Ulster last season we're bound to lose

beansycpn (Down) - Posts: 128 - 28/02/2014 13:12:23    1552341


Everybody knows that Dan McCartan is not the fastest player in our squad but everyone who regularly watches Down also knows that he is by some distance our cutest defender. While most opposing teams try to catch him for pace, they usually fail because of his anticipation and positioning skills. He also uses the ball very well, so he gets selected completly on merit.

MourneRising (Down) - Posts: 238 - 28/02/2014 14:26:46    1552380


If we can't beat Louth we don't deserve to go back to div 1, we really should be winning this by 8 plus let's put a big marker down for rest of league.

knowtherules (UK) - Posts: 181 - 28/02/2014 15:48:11    1552428


He made some good points! lol
Its hard to judge this local derby. The two teams haven't met competitively for a number of years as Down have been plying there trade at a higher level in div 1 for the last 3 seasons. We have a good record at home and have taken some big scalps in parc esler including Dublin, Mayo, Donegal Kildare in the league.
The system Down play tends to prevent our corner backs being exposed one on one as we usually have an extra man covering. O'Hanlon performed this role vs Monaghan with McArdle replacing him vs Armagh. I'd prefer to see O'Hanlon play as he offers more in attack as well as his free taking. I thought Toner had a terrific game against Armagh in Midfield and I would like to see him in there again on Saturday to compete with Keenan. On another note, is Peter Fitzpatrick injured?
The conditions were atrocious against Armagh so its hard to judge players but I thought the half back line was poor as compared to their Monaghan performance. Aidan Carr had a great game against the Farney men and I expect a huge improvement vs Louth. The return of Lavery is a huge boost and his trickery is worth a few points on its own.
Louth are no mugs and they are better than their first two results in the League. Paddy Keenan is one of the best midfielders in the country and Down would give their right arm to have a player like him. Andy mc Donnell and Judge are classy forwards and we will need to keep a tight rein on them.
Hopefully home advantage will be enough but its sure to be tight.

neverafree (Down) - Posts: 456 - 28/02/2014 17:43:48    1552503


Well,. Suddenly a very Awkward post by louth man. Lol. Well done To the red and black!!

offtheground1 (Down) - Posts: 128 - 01/03/2014 20:38:44    1552876


Did say we had to win by 8 plus if we were a serious team wanting to go up, got to go to Galway now and repeat this result.

knowtherules (UK) - Posts: 181 - 01/03/2014 20:43:27    1552890


Crazy pricing. £13 as a walk up last night whereas tickets were available on tickets for 10 euro. Absolute madness.

I do not think we should read too much into the victory last night as Louth just did not turn up but it will do the confidence no harm at all. Galway in Tuam will be a good gauge of where we are in terms of development.

Tip of the week - Buy your tickets before you go. It will pay for the diesel / petrol.

anduna (Down) - Posts: 210 - 02/03/2014 11:08:02    1553049


A good performance by the down lads last night, tuam can sometim
es be a boggey pitch for ulster teams, but not so this weekend! if you have time for a quick beer before the game, the hiberina in the center of town is a good place to have one, will maybe see some of you dun abu.

christy009 (Down) - Posts: 17 - 02/03/2014 13:25:21    1553109


ps, if you are any old clubmates of mine from Ballyholland, you are welcome!! tickets e10 on line i live near tuam, and have room for 5 or 6 down men!!!! all welcome.

christy009 (Down) - Posts: 17 - 02/03/2014 15:47:27    1553187


Despite Louth not showing up, I thought Down's performance was slick and fast-moving. It was a good team performance.

I wasn't impressed by some of Shane Harrison's decision making in the Monaghan and Armagh games but his kick outs on Saturday night were the best I've seen from a Down keeper in a long time. He kicked short and long, often with speed.

ajdoyle78 (Down) - Posts: 520 - 02/03/2014 21:08:12    1553524


There was a real gulf in class between the two teams. Funnily it reminded me of the Clonduff - Kilcoo game in the championship in the same venue last year and it had a similar outcome. I genuinely thought Louth would be closer as they do have some quality players but they were pretty hopeless on Saturday. Basic things like tackling and passing were very poor. Time after time the Louth players ploughed into the Down player bending to pick the ball up, that's an u12 error. Some of their key players looked out of sorts and some looked unfit. A real pity because their dedicated supporters deserve much better.
Anyhow, the Down team can only beat whats put in front of them. I thought Harrison varied his kickouts and looked fairly secure and made a super save at the end. Dan Mc Cartan never put a foot wrong and even makes the HS TEAM OF THE WEEK! I thought Mc Ardle played solidly at full back. Costello made a decent impression. The half back line got through a good hours graft. Turley and Mallon won the midfield battle although Paddy Keenan didn't have much back up.
Of the forwards Madine, Mark Poland and O hare were the standouts for me. I thought our movement and ability to win and retain ball were very impressive particularly as it was a fairly filthy night. Great to see Lavery, Benny and Pete Fitzpatrick get runs as they will definitely be needed as the league progresses.
Finally a word of Praise to Ryan Mallon who I thought had his best Down game to date. He is bowing off the panel now for work./study and will be a big miss.

neverafree (Down) - Posts: 456 - 03/03/2014 17:45:26    1554107


I wasn't at the game on Saturday as I was out of the country. Was very surprised when I seen the result, it seems wee James has picked up the intensity in training during the break. He had the players out training every day of the week. It's whats required if your to reach the top level. That said, it also seems that Louth just didn't turn up. The acid test comes in our next game away to Galway. If we can get 2 points then I think promotion is within our sights. We have tough away games ahead, but a win next weekend will give the players the confidence that they can go to tough away venues and win. I think promotion is vitally important as the standard of Division 2 is nothing compared to Division 1, Donegal aside, who are flying at the minute. Looking forward to Down testing themselves against the All-Ireland contenders when they come to Newry.

MourneArmy (Down) - Posts: 1787 - 04/03/2014 13:21:29    1554526