Down’s mini-revival continues as Derry dismissed
After waiting over a year for a win, Down make it two in a row against Ulster rivals
Allianz Football League Division 2, Celtic Park, Owenbeg, Derry 5/3/2017Derry vs DownDown's Peter Turley with Carlos McWilliams and Enda Lynn of DerryMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/Lorcan Doherty
Derry 1-7 Down 1-15
You wait 15 months for a Down win and two come along in successive weeks.
Eamon Burns’ side were full value for their eight point victory over a disappointing Derry at Celtic Park on Sunday afternoon - with Darragh O’Hanlon, Ryan Johnston and Barry O’Hagan all weighing in heavily with impressive performances.
Conor Maginn’s 25th minute point gave Down a hugely unexpected 1-10 to no score lead - and it was no more than Down deserved after a lightning start.
Buoyed by last week’s long awaited win over Meath, the Mourne men played throughout the first half with new found confidence, producing a brand of slick football that Derry simply couldn’t handle.
Ryan Johnston’s goal after 20 minutes typified everything that was good about Down - an early kickpass fizzed into livewire Barry O’Hagan who won possession and fed the on-running Johnston. The Kilcoo man blazed a rapid trail to the Derry goal and drilled the ball past Thomas Mallon.
Derry flickered brightly just before half-time with Emmett McGuckin bagging his second goal in as many weeks, but Down were home and hosed at 1-11 to 1-3 at the break.
Down hit the first two points of the second half, before points by James Kielt, Benny Heron and Mark Craig brought it back to a seven point game on 58 minutes. There were to be no fireworks in the final stages however, and Down saw out a comfortable victory.
One that now leaves them with notions of promotion back to Division One, while Derry move into the relegation zone.
DERRY: Thomas Mallon, Niall Keenan, Conor Nevin, Conor McGrogan, Neil Forester, Oisin Duffin, Michael McEvoy, James Kielt (0-1f), Conor McAtamney (0-2), Enda Lynn, Emmett McGuckin (1-2), Carlus McWilliams, Ryan Bell, Niall Loughlin, Bennty Heron (0-1).
Subs: Barry Grant for R Bell (39), Mark Craig (0-1) for O Duffin (49), Gavin O’Neill for C Nevin (55), Ciaran Mullan for C McCrogan (63).
DOWN: Michael Cunningham, Ryan McAleenan, Gerard McGovern, Darren O’Hagan, Darragh O’Hanlon (0-6 1f), Brendan McArdle, Caolan Mooney (0-3), Aidan Carr, Peter Turley, Kevin McKernan, Conor Maginn (0-1), Joe Murphy (0-1), Shay Millar, Barry O’Hagan (0-3), Ryan Johnston (1-1).
Subs: Niall Donnelly for G McGovern (HT), Jerome Johnston for B O’Hagan (65), Alan Davidson R Johnston, Paul Devlin for J Murphy, Mark Poland for S Millar (70), Cathal Magee for C Maginn (70).
Referee: P Neilan (Roscommon)