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GAA: Mark sees red but inspires win

By John Campbell

Published 03/10/2007

Mark Downey earned a minor blot on his copybook when Drumgath clinched the Down Under 16 Football Championship title but you won't hear the slightest complaint being made against the talented youngster within this progressive Rathfriland club.

He may have been sent off with ten minutes to go before the end of the final against St Joseph's but by then Mark had already assured himself of the player of the match accolade in grabbing 2-4 of his team's 2-10 total.

All this, too, after St Joseph's had built up a seemingly unassailable 3-0 to 0-1 lead after just nine minutes.

Anthony Mageean, Aidan Killen and Sean O'Rourke were the St Joseph's goalscorers but their comfortable cushion was whipped away when Downey set to work.

His two goals spirited Drumgath back into the match and his four clinical points complemented scores from Colm Maginn (0-3), Eddie Fitzpatrick (0-2) and Eddie McConville (0-1) to give Drumgath a deserved victory.

Mark, brother of Down senior team full-forward Packie Downey, certainly proved the inspiration of this Drumgath success which has fuelled hopes that the club might now go on to claim more glory at Minor level further along the line.

St Joseph's, an amalgam of the Dundrum and Ballykinlar clubs in the Under 16 sector, were left shellshocked yet still managed to underline that they, too, have a host of players of whom more will be heard in the future.

But for now Drumgath are the Under 16 toast of Down - and Mark Downey is the epitome of a true local hero.

Belfast Telegraph

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