Down make last four as Derry brushed aside
Published 20/05/2013 | 04:20
Down remain on course for another Christy Ring Cup final appearance after a 3-7 to 0-9 win in the all-Ulster quarter-final clash against Derry at Pairc Esler.
The Oak Leafers looked the likely winners at the break after bossing the first half, however Down stayed in touch and the sides went in level at the break at 0-5 apiece.
Down keeper Stephen Keith saved superbly from an Alan Grant penalty five minutes after the restart, and his opposite number Darryl McDermott was previously called into action when Danny Toner went close on the half hour mark.
The second half was all Down and two quick-fire goals from the Ardsmen effectively sealed a semi-final meeting with Meath on Saturday.
Paul Braniff was the first to find the net when sending a 21-yard free past McDermott on 49 minutes and seconds later Danny Toner got on the end of a Scott Nicholson delivery to flick the sliotar to the net.
Derry were handed a lifeline on 63 minutes when awarded a second penalty but this time Aaron Kelly was denied by Paddy Hughes. Jonathan McCusker bagged Down's third goal to seal victory for Ger Monan's side.
Down last reached the decider in 2009. The winner of Saturday's semi-final will face Kildare or Kerry in the final.
In the Rackard Cup, Monaghan set up a semi-final clash against Donegal with a 5-12 to 2-7 victory over Sligo at Inniskeen.
Tadhg Campbell was in fine form, accounting for three of their goals.
Fermanagh were on the wrong end of a 6-13 to 1-10 scoreline against Longford in the Meagher Cup. Longford now face Warwickshire in the final.