Down's early blitz lays foundation


ULSTER MFC QUARTER-FINALS/Down 2-10 Donegal 0-12:THANKS TO a first-half scoring blitz Down emerged victorious and while Donegal staged a second-half rally they were unable to recover a seven-point deficit.

Down had a blistering opening quarter, hitting 2-4 between the sixth and 19th minute to lead by 2-5 to 0-1. Shea McCartan had the opening goal on nine minutes and Jerome Johnston fired the second three minutes later. Donegal relied on Patrick McBrearty for five of their first-half total as they trailed by 2-7 to 0-6 at the break.

All but one of Down’s first-half total came from play with the full-forward line accounting for 2-5.

Donegal were a changed team in the second period, with McBrearty again to the fore with Owen Grant and they gradually reduced the margin but never get closer than three points.

DONEGAL: P Boyle; P Carr, C Ward, G Walsh; J Gallagher, L Keaney, J O’Malley; P McBrearty (0-9, seven frees), C Greaney; C Barrett, O Grant (0-1), M Cannon (0-1); A Coyne, L Kelly, S Boyle. Subs: O McNelis for Barrett (27 mins), C McGinley for Kelly, E Faulkner for Walsh (both half-time), C Gibbons (0-1, free) for Coyne (45 mins), A McGirr for Greaney (46 mins).

DOWN: M Cunningham; D Turley, G McGovern, D Murtagh (0-1); F McAvoy, D O’Hanlon, P Boyle; N McParland, N Donnelly (0-1); D Savage, C Mooney, M Bagnell; S McCartan (1-2), J Johnston (1-3, one free), R OHare (0-3, one free).Subs: R Johnston for McAvoy (3 mins), N Madine for Savage, S McArdle for Bagnall (both 57 mins), D Morgan for Turley 58 mins.

Referee: B Cassidy (Derry).

Tyrone will meet Down in the Ulster semi-final on June 19th, with Cavan taking on Armagh in the other semi-final on June 27th.