Down strike at the death to escape relegation from Division Two

Jerome Johnston’s point two minutes into added time salvaged a draw against Cork

Down players celebrate their draw against Cork which guaranteed Division Two survival. Photograph: Conor Wyse/Inpho

Down players celebrate their draw against Cork which guaranteed Division Two survival. Photograph: Conor Wyse/Inpho

 

Cork 1-10 Down 0-13

Down preserved their second division status with a dramatic comeback against Cork at Pairc Ui Rinn on Sunday.

Trailing by three points with 10 minutes left, Jerome Johnston kicked an equalising free two minutes into four minutes added time to earn the visitors a deserved share of the spoils.

It was good enough to avoid a second successive relegation as Down survived on points difference.

Cork led by 1-6 to 0-5 at half-time, Down’s cause not helped by some wayward shooting as they registered eight wides of their 15 attempts in the period.

The goal came three minutes from the break, when Peter Kelleher and Paul Kerrigan combined to set-up Ruairi Deane, who finished well from close range.

Down keeper Michael Cunningham converted a free from distance in the closing act to offer his side some hope on the resumption.

That spurred on the Ulster county who kicked the opening three points of the second-half to trail by just one.

Cork replied with three of their own for 1-9 to 0-8 lead after 50 minutes, but Down never gave up the chase and got their reward at death.

CORK: K O’Halloran; M Shields, T Clancy, K Crowley; C O’Driscoll, J Loughrey, S Cronin; R Deane (1-1), A O’Connor; K O’Driscoll, J O’Rourke (0-1), I Maguire; C O’Neill (0-6, four from frees), P Kelleher, P Kerrigan (0-2), captain. Subs: A Walsh for O’Connor half-time, D og Hodnett for Kelleher 45 mins, B O’Driscoll for Maguire 48 mins, J O’Sullivan for Clancy 53 mins, J McLoughlin for Shields 57 mins

DOWN: M Cunningham (0-1 from a free); R McAleenan, B McArdle, D O’Hagan, captain; D O’Hanlon (0-1 from a free), C McGovern, J Flynn; C Mooney (0-2), P Turley; K McKiernan, C Maginn, R Johnston (0-2); S Millar (0-1), J Johnston (0-5 four from frees, one from a ‘45), B O’Hagan (0-1). Subs: S Dornan for O’Hagan 45 mins, J Murphy for Flynn 50 mins, M Poland for Maginn 63 mins, A Davidson for Millar 65 mins

Referee: J Molloy (Galway)

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