Down recover to force replay with Derry
Ulster SHC semi-final: Down 1-16 Derry 0-19
Down’s Johnny McCusker evades the challenge of Derry’s Ruairí McCloskey. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho/Pressye
Down survived a Derry onslaught in the second-half to earn a replay in yesterday’s Ulster hurling semi-final in the Athletic Grounds.
Even though Derry got the last point with a free deep into injury-time, it was Down who were relieved after they blew an eight point lead in the second-half.
The Christy Ring Cup winners led by 1-11 to 0-7 at half-time, Danny Toner with the goal after 19 minutes.
Paul Braniff stretched their lead to eight points shortly after the restart but Derry completely took over from that point onwards.
They scored 11 points in a row, Kevin Hinphey hitting four from play, and Down failed to raise a flag for a full 26 minutes.
Derry led by three points with five minutes remaining but rued eight second-half wides as Down rallied with four late points.
The winners are due to face Antrim in the final.
DOWN: S Keith; M Conlon, P Flynn, P Hughes; M Hughes, C Woods, M Ennis; D Hughes (0-2), C O’Prey; S Nicholson (0-1), P Braniff (0-7, five frees), P Sheehan (0-2); D Toner (1-1), G Johnson (0-1), J Coyle. Subs: F Conway for O’Prey (28 mins), J McCusker (0-1) for Coyle (53 mins), K McGarry for M Hughes (55 mins), M Turley (0-1) for Sheehan (57 mins).
DERRY: D McDermott; D McCloskey, P Kelly, J McCloskey; R McCloskey, L Hinphey, M O’Hagan; O McCloskey (0-2), K Hinphey (0-4); B Rodgers, A Grant (0-1), P Henry (0-2); P Cleary (0-1), B Quigley, A Kelly (0-5, one free). Subs: C Convery (0-1) for Henry (half-time), T McCloskey (0-3, frees) for Quigley (40 mins).
Referee: James Clarke (Cavan)