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Dr McKenna Cup: Down manager Burns tastes the first Mournemen victory

Down 3-20 St Mary's 2-14

By Staff Reporter

It was scores galore at Pairc Esler as Down crushed St Mary's in the Dr McKenna Cup with a scintillating second-half display to pick up their first win under Eamonn Burns.

The students hit three unanswered scores in the first four minutes through Neil McNicholl, Brian Og McGilligan and Niall Toner and Down looked sluggish.

However, the Mournemen were level by the eighth minute with a fine run and score from Barry O'Hagan and two off the left boot of Arthur McConville.

Further points from McNicholl and two Tommy McCaffrey frees gave St Mary's a 0-6 to 0-3 lead and while Ryan Boyle pulled one back for Down, McNicholl and McCaffrey's third free put the visitors in command. But Down hit the next four points and the pendulum continued to swing.

McConville and Harrison put Down two in front later in the second-half before St Mary's got a goal on 46 minutes when McGarrity cut in from the left to make it 1-11 to 0-13.

However, Down hit back three minutes later when sub Cathal Doyle fired to the net. O'Hagan, Darragh O'Hanlon and McConville tagged on further Down scores with Conor Myler replying for St Mary's.

O'Hanlon struck twice to give Down a six-point lead, 1-18 to 1-12 with 12 minutes to go. The result was put beyond doubt on 62 minutes when Packie Downey palmed home before Caolan Mooney and Ryan Mallon added further scores.

Niall Toner hit another goal for St Mary's before Downey scored his second maximum. There was still time for Harry Loughran to point for St Mary's.

Belfast Telegraph

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