Disappointed Laverty says Down's "standards dipped" in Division 3 final loss

April 01, 2024

Down manager Conor Laverty ©INPHO/Andrew Paton

Down manager Conor Laverty says his side will learn lessons from Saturday night’s Allianz FL Division 3 final defeat to Westmeath.

The Mourne men had controlled large portions of the decider but, in the end, Jonathan Lynam’s second goal on the hour swung the pendulum Westmeath’s way as they won out by 2-10 to 0-13 in the end.

"I'm very disappointed," Laverty told RTE Sport after the game. "We came here today with great ambition and a real desire to win the game. We put a lot of preparation and work in but our standards dipped below that line.

"We started the game extremely well, controlled decent periods of it but the two goals came at vital times and they were two sucker punches for us.

"When Westmeath played with the deeper block we were reluctant to take that shot from the edge of the scoring zone and we missed a couple of key chances at vital moments.

"But this is a young group. They’re growing all the time, they’re learning, and the more times they play in Croke Park and the more big games that they play in they’ll continue to learn, and that experience hopefully will stand to them over the next number of months and years.

"We’re looking forward to Division 2 next year, we’ll have strong teams coming to Newry week in week out. Hopefully that’s good learning for the lads.

"We’re really looking forward to Ulster championship. It’s a fantastic, highly competitive competition and we know the battle we’re going to have on our hands in Newry when Antrim come [on 13 April]. The lads will get a couple of days off now to recharge the batteries and get back at it later this week."

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