Trainor earns Down second chance
ULSTER SH SEMI-FINAL/Derry 1-9 Down 0-12: Derry and Down have unfinished business to attend to next Saturday as they failed to find a winner in the Ulster semi-final at Casement Park last Saturday.
Substitute Jerome Trainor hitting the levelling point for Down in injury time. The teams were level five times during the second half. It was a poor game with both sides failing to show their true worth.
Down missed a bagful of chances when aided by the wind in the first half and were lucky to lead by 0-7 to 1-3 at the interval. They were three points to one up after nine minutes but then the scoring dried up. However, in the 23rd minute John O'Dwyer ghosted through the Down defence for a surprise goal and two minutes later Ollie Collins pointed a free to leave the holders looking good.
Down rallied and rifled over four more points, to just one in reply, before the break with substitute Paddy Coulter hitting a super shot from the wing to give the Mourne men that slender lead.
The game moved up a gear in the second half but still the hurling was not out of the top drawer and it was only in the closing 10 minutes that excitement mounted. Out-of-touch Derry full forward Geoffrey McGonigle brought the sides level on the hour from a free, Collins cut a massive sideline over the bar to put Derry ahead but within seconds Ger Adair pointed for Down.
McGonigle gave Derry the lead again but on cue Paddy Monan hit a long-range Down point. On the call of time Collins again thrilled Derry fans with another massive point from a sideline cut but back stormed the challengers for substitute Trainor to once again leave it all square.
DERRY: K Stevenson; E McKeever, G Brunton, R Lynch; A McCloskey, C McEldowney, B Ward; Greg Biggs, R McCloskey; Gary Biggs, O Collins (0-4, three frees), R Kennedy; M Collins, G McGonigle (0-4, three frees), J O'Dwyer (1-1). Sub: D Magill for Gary Briggs (61 mins).
DOWN: Graham Clarke; L Clarke, S Murray, S Wilson; Gabriel Clarke, G Savage, T Coulter; P Monan (0-1), G Gordon; G McGrattan (0-1), M Braniff, M Coulter (0-1), P Braniff, J McGrattan (0-5, four frees), N Sands (0-1). Subs: P Coulter (0-1) for M Coulter (34 mins); G Adair (0-1) for P Braniff (41 mins); E Trainor for J McGrattan (50 mins); J Trainor (0-1) for M Coulter (58 mins).
Referee: P Neary (Kilkenny).