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Down manager Moran is all smiles

Down manager Gerard Monan hailed his side’s hard-earned National Hurling League Division 2 encounter victory over Kildare as “a step in the right direction”.

Having lost to Clare, Wexford and Carlow, the peninsula men arrested their slide with a gritty display that encompassed some quality finishing and a generous measure of dour defence.

“We think we have maybe turned the corner but we have some difficult games coming up. This win will do our confidence no harm,” said Monan.

A first-half goal from Paul Braniff, who went on to land 1-9 overall, helped Down take a 1-9 to 0-8 half-time lead, but a David Harney goal shortly after the break provided Kildare with added impetus.

And with David Kennedy firing over a brace of points the home side threatened to take control. But with Braniff continuing to pick off points, Down were further reinvigorated when Conor O’Prey fired in a fine goal and Simon Wilson’s three points from long-range frees underlined their authority.

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