Down progressed to the Ulster minor football championship quarter-final with minimum fuss at Brewster Park yesterday.
This was a very impressive display by Mark Turley’s men, playing with supreme confidence and no little ability after a tentative start.
Fermanagh desperately needed a good start and but for good work by Down keeper Mark Prior they might have had the ball in the net before the Mourne lads opened their account.
But once Down got into their stride there was no stopping them and with the midfield pair of Caolan Mooney and Niall McParland dominant,Fermanagh were always going to have a fight on their hands.
Despite the constant rain Down made light of the conditions in the opening half and by half time were in command leading 6-1.
Fermanagh needed early scores on the restart and Ciaran McBrien did cut the deficit with a pointed free, but the Down machine was fast moving into overdrive adding eight points without reply as the Fermanagh challenge wilted.
All afternoon the gifted Ross McGarry had been a constant threat to the home side and it was no surprise that he was the man who struck for the game’s only goal, a superb effort 15 minutes into the second half, a well taken effort although Fermanagh felt one of their defenders had been fouled in the build-up.
Both teams then managed two late points each, but there was only going to be one outcome and Down can now look ahead to an Ulster quarter-final with considerable optimism.
DOWN: J Deeney, R Doran, S McNamee, D O’Hanlon, K McClorey, C McClean, P Boyle, C Mooney 0-1, N McParland 0-1, C Clarke 0-2, R White 0-2, P Quinn 0-1,M Bagnall, R McGarry 1-3, D NcKibben 0-2.
FERMANAGH: M Prior; P McCaffrey, E Leonard, J Mulligan; J Duffy, S McMahon, P McGovern; R O’Callaghan 0-1 D Mohan; J Jackman, S Quigley, P Mullan, J Feeley 0-1. G Gallagher, C McBrien 0-2.
Referee: E McHugh (Tyrone).