Down’s long wait ends as they pick up first win in 22 months
Eamon Burns side won their first match in nearly two years to get off the mark in league
Down’s Shay Millar with Bryan Menton of Meath during their Allianz National Football League clash. Photo: Matt Mackey/Inpho
Down 1-13 Meath 0-14
Down picked up their first win in league or championship in 22 months on Saturday night as they got the better of Meath at Pairc Esler by two points in the end.
It was a well deserved win for Eamonn Burns’ men who looked like they used the criticism aimed their way after the defeat to Clare to their advantage to produce a stirring display that got them off the mark in this year’s National League.
Down scored goal inside two minutes when Darragh O’Hanlon’s free dropped short but was directed into the net by Joe Murphy from the edge of the square.
While Meath responded in the first half, mainly from the boot of corner forward Donal Lenihan, the opening 35 minutes belonged to the home side who dominated all over the field and took a 1-8 to 0-6 lead into the second period.
Further scores from the excellent Kevin McKernan amongst others saw Down always maintain a lead as the clock ticked towards the final whistle and while Lenihan and Graham Reilly attempted to mount some sort of a comeback for the Royals in the dying minutes, Down held on to record their victory
DOWN: M Reid; R McAleenan, G McGovern, D O’Hagan; D O’Hanlon (0-3, 2f), C McGovern (0-1), C Mooney; P Turley, A Carr (0-2, 1f); K McKernan (0-2), C Maginn (0-1), J Murphy (1-0); S Millar, B O’Hagan (0-2), R Johnston (0-1)
Subs: B McArdle for C McGovern (49mins), J Johnston (0-1) for B O’Hagan (50mins), M Poland for Mooney (65mins), P Devlin for R Johnston (68mins), N Donnelly for McKernan (Black Card - 70mins)
MEATH: P O’Rourke; D Keogan (0-1), C McGill, R O Coileain; W Carry, B Power, S McEntee; B Menton, J Toher (0-2); A Forde, C O’Sullivan, C O’Brien; G Reilly (0-2), B Sheridan, D Lenihan (0-8, 7f)
Subs: B McMahon for O’Sullivan (H-T), E Wallace for O’Brien (49mins), J Wallace for Forde (59mins), D Toner for McEntee (62mins), S Tobin for Sheridan (68mins).
Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan).