Monday 19 March 2018

Down player ratings

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Brendan McVeigh 9

Began the match with a point-blank save from Ciaran Sheehan, and finished it in the same manner, getting down to deny Colm O'Neill. Surely the All Star goalkeeper.

Damien Rafferty 6

Struggled against the impressive Ciaran Sheehan early on, then got into his stride but as the pressure cranked up in the Croke Park furnace around him he was one of the first to wilt.

Dan Gordon 6

The first minute was torture, the rest of the first half was almost flawless. He was stretched badly by Donncha O'Connor after that. Could he have been switched to an ailing midfield earlier?

Dan McCartan 7

Resilient and dogged in his approach all season, McCartan didn't deviate here. Made a goal-line clearance in the first minute and curbed Daniel Goulding from general play.

Conor Garvey 6

Switched wings to pick up Paddy Kelly, and it was a battle he eventually lost, but was part of a strong collective Down effort, particularly in the opening half.

Declan Rooney 7

One of Down's better defenders in an understated way. Pearse O'Neill didn't score and was taken off, which ranks as a success for his marker, and provides a little consolation.

Kevin McKernan 7

Didn't enjoy the freedom of the semi-final, with Paul Kerrigan lurking so menacingly around him. Did some good work, though, and eventually got forward for a point.

Peter Fitzpatrick 7

The best of a beaten midfield, Fitzpatrick delivered one magnificent clearance in the first half and bagged a second-half point. Always in Aidan Walsh's slipstream.

Kalum King 5

Had little or no influence in a Down midfield that was always second best. Struggled with the pace and with Nicholas Murphy in the second half. Change could have been made earlier.

Danny Hughes 8

Arguably Down's most effective forward, mixing up three points with the usual recipe of diligence and elegance in possession as he came in off the right wing to trouble Paudie Kissane.

Mark Poland 7

Scored one magnificent second-half point, working his way in off the Hogan Stand sideline, and unhinged the Cork defence with intelligent lay-offs in the first half.

Martin Clarke 7

Not the influence the billing suggested he would be.

Picked off some nice passes and won some crucial frees but lacked the robust attributes to make a sustained impact.

Paul McComiskey 8

Is entitled to wonder how, after scoring three points, he was taken off when he was. Always posed a threat and always looked capable of picking holes with clever passes.

Benny Coulter 8

Anything he did was productive, from making an important goalmouth catch from a first-half free to his penetrating run for Fitzpatrick's point. Fired over a classy late point.

John Clarke 5

Picked off an early point from distance but was largely peripheral to the action, even when Down were in command, and his second-half substitution was right on cue.


Conor Maginn (5) didn't make much impact.

Ronan Murtagh (6) chipped in with a point.

Benny McArdle (6) adapted quickly in a short space of time.

Aidan Brannigan and Conor Laverty were not on long enough to be rated.

Manager Rating James McCartan 6

Should have moved Dan Gordon into a struggling midfield much earlier than he did. Taking off Paul McComiskey wasn't the Down management's most inspired move either.

Irish Independent

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