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Mournemen put Oak Leafs to the sword

Derry 1-17 Down 3-16

By Steven Doherty

Published 29/06/2015

Ace in pack: Down’s Danny Toner inflicted damage
Ace in pack: Down’s Danny Toner inflicted damage

There will be a replay of the 2013 Ulster Hurling Championship final after Down defeated Derry by five points at Owenbeg yesterday.

A blistering second half scoring salvo from the Ardsmen where they scored three quick fire goals, over-turned a two point half-time deficit and laid the foundations for a comfortable win.

A lethargic opening by the home side saw them trail 0-3 to 0-1 after 20 minutes of play. Talisman Ruairi Convery was forced out of action with a shoulder injury as early as the 5th minute and the omens appeared ominous for Tom McLean's men.

However, Derry suddenly hit their straps in the latter phases of the half and out-scored Down by nine points to five, going in at half-time 0-10 to 0-08 up.

Danny Toner, with a quick fire hat-trick of scores, was Down's best forward, while Paddy Henry was Derry's top scorer with six first half points.

Everything changed and changed dramatically right at the start of the second half. It took the Ardsmen just six minutes to score 2-2, with goals coming from Caolan Bailie and man of the match Danny Toner finding the back of the net.

In their very first attack of the second half Down's Steven Dineen was denied by a smart save from Daryl McDermott, only to see Bailie react quickest in the box and poke the ball home.

Three minutes later that man Toner sent a high dangerous ball into the box.

McDermott rose to catch the ball and inadvertently parried the sliotar into the back of his own net.

Derry responded through Kevin Hinphey's point, but again Down went on a scoring spree. Second best they may have been in the second half, Down were the masters of Owenbeg after the break and when Gareth Johnson rammed home their third goal in the 47th minute it ended the game as a contest.

Further points from the ubiquitous Toner stretched the visitors lead to 3-13 to 0-11 by the 48th minute.

The home side refused to yield and a 57th minute Kevin Hinphey offered some hope, but teak tough defending from Michael Johnston's men denied any further goals with Down running out five point winners.

Derry: Daryl McDermott, Michael Warnock, Conor Quinn, Sean McCullagh (c), Conor McSorley, Liam Hinphey, Ruairi McCloskey, Anton Rafferty, Sean McGuigan 0-1, Aaron Kelly 0-1, Alan Grant 0-1, Kevin Hinphey 1-1, Patrick Henry 0-8 (0-7f), Ruairi Convery, Jonathan O'Dwyer 0-1

Subs: Paul Cleary 0-3 for R Convery (5), Eugene McGuckin for S McCullough (35), B Douban 0-1 for A Kelly (43), Deaglan Foley for S McGuigan (63), Tiarnan McCloskey for J O'Dwyer (65)

Down: Stephen Keith, Sean Ennis, Conor Woods, Michael Hughes, Declan McManus 0-1, Conor O'Neill, Michael McCullough, John McManus, Donal Hughes, Steven Dineen, Danny Toner 1-6 (0-1f), Fintan Conway, Caolan Bailie 1-1, Gareth Johnson (c) 1-6 (0-5f), James Coyle 0-1

Subs: Brett Nicholson for Rian Branagan B/S (10), Conor Cassidy for J Coyle (47), Paul Sheehan for c Bailie (57), scott Nicholson for D McManus (70)

Referee: Owen Elliott (Antrim).

Belfast Telegraph

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