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Kerr excels as Mourne county do legend Murphy proud in decider

 

Liam Kerr
Liam Kerr
John Campbell

By John Campbell

It was perhaps entirely appropriate that Down should have emerged victors when they met Cavan in the Leo Murphy Cup U20 league final at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh on Saturday.

The trophy is named after the late iconic defender who played a big part in helping the Mourne county to dominate the All-Ireland series in the '60s when they claimed football's biggest prize in 1960, '61 and '68.

The Down U20 side showed that they meant business from the outset and by half-time they had built up a healthy 1-8 to 0-4 lead.

It was their ace marksman Liam Kerr who was chiefly responsible for their dominance by sweeping home a goal to which he added a fistful of points in a stunning show.

Philip Lynch and Cian Madden did their best to stoke Cavan's resistance but Down were always tantalisingly out of reach.

The Mourne side finished strongly to win by 1-14 to 0-11 with Cavan left floundering in their slipstream.

The trophy was presented to Down skipper Shane Annett by Leo Murphy's widow Sodilva.

There was success for Tyrone, too, who landed the Philly McGuinness U20 trophy by beating Sligo by 1-23 to 1-10.

Even by half-time it was clear that Tyrone's name would be inscribed on the trophy. They led at that juncture by 1-14 to 1-5 before going on to add nine more points after the break with 16th minute goalscorer Sean Og McAleer, Mark McKearney and Peter Og McCartan very much to the fore in the scoring stakes.

Tyrone assistant manager Dermot Carlin believes his team's success in the competition augers well for their prospects in the Ulster Championship.

"I think the important thing is that we have now got three competitive matches under our belts and we still have players to come back into the squad," stated Carlin.

"All the players have been working really hard and obviously we would see this as ideal preparation for the forthcoming championship."

Meanwhile, all the tickets that have been made available to date have been sold for next Sunday's eagerly awaited Ulster senior football championship final between Donegal and Cavan at St Tiernach's Park, Clones (2.00pm).

With Cavan fans in particular ravenous for tickets, the Ulster Council is now assured of a capacity attendance at St Tiernach's Park, Clones.

The early start has been widely welcomed by followers of both teams.

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