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Down are firing as the goals fly in against Wicklow

By John Campbell

Down made it back to back wins in Division 2B of the Allianz Hurling League when they overcame Wicklow by 4-12 to 0-11 at Pairc Esler, Newry yesterday.

Despite two first-half goals from Rian Brannigan and Danny Toner, Down only managed to take a three-point lead (2-4 to 0-7) in with them at the break.

But they played with greater authority and composure after the break with Caolan Bailie and Toner particularly effective up front.

Both players hit the Wicklow net while Toner landed five points as well as Down signalled their intent to gain promotion.

But manager Michael Johnston warned that they face a massive task in their next outing against Mayo.

"Mayo beat Meath in Trim yesterday and that says it all as far as I am concerned. From our own viewpoint, we addressed one or things we weren't happy with at half-time and the second-half saw us play with greater composure," he said.

Meanwhile, the old firm of Ryan Gaffney and Declan Coulter were in fine fettle for Armagh at Donegal. The duo plundered a generous ration of their team's points with the goals in a 2-14 to 1-8 win coming from Dylan McKenna and Conor Corvan.

Armagh's experience served them well in the second-half after Paddy Hannigan's goal and Lee Henderson's frees expertise had helped sustain the home side's challenge up until then.

Tyrone suffered a setback in Division 3A when they lost to Fingal by 4-10 to 1-17. A devastating first quarter during which they leaked three goals ultimately proved Tyrone's undoing as their subsequent gutsy rally just fell short.

Kieran O'Sullivan (2) and MJ Sheridan bagged Fingal's early goals but Damien Casey's accuracy from frees and play saw the home side just three points in arrears at half-way (3-4 to 0-10).

They stayed in contention until the closing phase but fell victims to a breakaway goal from Sheridan that helped cement the visitors' victory.

Belfast Telegraph


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