Down master their old rivals to comfortably book last four place

Thu, Jan 17, 2013, 00:00

Down 2-11 Armagh 1-10:Down progressed to the semi-finals of the Dr McKenna Cup with a comfortable victory over Armagh in front of 2,529 fans at Páirc Esler in Newry last night.

The Mourne men led from the start to finish and goals from Kevin McKernan and Paul McComiskey helped secure a last-four date against Monaghan on Sunday.

McComiskey and Armagh forward Stefan Forker caught the eye. Forker, after several years in and out of the Armagh squad, starred with 0-6.

McComiskey scored 0-3 from play for Down inside the opening 12 minutes. Benny Coulter and Connaire Harrison added points and the latter then teed up a goal for Kevin McKernan in the 20th minute.

McComiskey’s point attempt dropped short and Harrison jumped to contest the high ball with the goalkeeper, knocking it down into McKernan’s path.

The 2010 All Star centre-back palmed the ball to the net to put Down 1-6 to 0-2 ahead.

Michael Stevenson and Stefan Forker chipped over points before the break but Armagh trailed 1-7 to 0-4 at half-time.

Armagh scored four unanswered points after the restart. A long-range effort from Ciarán McKeever and two sweet points off either foot from the eye-catching Forker closed the gap to two points.

But McComiskey converted a free to stop Armagh’s run of scores and added Down’s second goal after 46 minutes before Gearóid McCooey got Armagh’s late consolation goal.

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