Down may not have had their sorrows to seek of late with the senior team’s tame exit from the Ulster Championship followed by the resignation of manager Paddy Tally, but last night the county’s U20 side turned on a sizzling show to humble their Cavan counterparts by 2-17 to 0-9 in the quarter-final of the Ulster series.
The Mourne side gave new manager Conor Laverty a stirring start to his term in charge, their frenetic work rate and pinpoint accuracy leaving Cavan floundering in their slipstream.
Danny Magill and Andrew Gilmore snapped up the Down goals while Ruairi O’Hare, Charlie Smyth and Eamon Brown were prominent in the points blitz.
Down were on easy street by half-time when they led by 2-12 to 0-6 before consolidating their position after the break.
And Fermanagh also turned on the style by beating Antrim by 2-13 to 0-10. Goals from Josh Largo Ellis and Conor Love were to prove crucial, while Oisin Doherty, Eoin Hynds and Fergal Henry did their best to keep the Saffrons in touch.
But rather surprisingly, there was disappointment for both provincial title holders Tyrone and Derry.
The Red Hands succumbed to a vibrant Donegal side by 1-12 to 1-9, while Derry were certainly served up a sharp lesson by Monaghan in going under by 2-9 to 0-11.
Rory Donnelly looked to have put Tyrone back in contention with a second-half goal but Donegal clinically closed out the game.