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Down's double date leaves board with tough call

By John Campbell

The Down county board is expected to make a decision tonight that could have potentially serious ramifications for the Ulster Council.

With Down beating Fingal 0-18 to 2-7 in the Kehoe Cup yesterday, they are now scheduled to meet Kildare in the semi-final next Sunday – the very day on which they are also due to meet Antrim in the long overdue 2013 Ulster Senior Hurling Championship final.

Down chairman Seamus Walsh, while giving no indication as to just what course of action his board may take, confirmed that "a big decision" has to be made.

The Ulster Council, clearly anxious to see the provincial final staged some seven months after it should have been played, will now await Down's decision with some trepidation, given that it has also been tasked with confirming a new date for the Power NI Dr McKenna Cup final, which was postponed on Saturday because the pitch at Brewster Park, Enniskillen, was unplayable.

In yesterday's win over Fingal, Paul Sheehan hit eight of Down's points while Scott Nicholson landed four while Clonduff clubman made an impressive debut in defence.

Ulster's interest in the Kehoe Cup does not end with Down, either. Derry beat a tenacious Trinity side by 3-11 to 2-11 yesterday to reach the last four, but were pushed to the pin of their collar by the Dublin students.

Ace marksman Ruairi Convery appeared to have put Derry in a good position when he struck goals from penalties in the 25th and 50th minutes, but Trinity fought back to get on level terms.

It took a late goal from Johnny O'Dwyer to finally book Derry's passage in the semi-finals and offer the side at least one more competitive match before the Allianz League gets up and running.

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