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Saval serve up senior shock

By John Campbell

The Down senior football championship is hotting up and with reigning champions Kilcoo due to face a strong Clonduff side tonight, a further dimension could be added to what is proving a fascinating competition.

The sudden-death element that accompanies the quarter-finals lent passion, commitment and ambition to the ties played over the weekend with pride of place going to Saval who stunned fancied Bryansford, while Loughinisland took Mayobridge to the wire in another riveting encounter.

Saval turned the formbook on its head by overcoming Bryansford by 1-10 to 0-10 with county aces Danny Hughes and Niall Madine playing key roles.

It was Philip Madine's all-important 48th minute goal that provided the platform for Saval's last quarter flourish.

And Loughinisland earned plaudits for their courage against Mayobridge even though they went down by 3-8 to 2-9.

Cory Quinn (2) and Benny Coulter fired in the Mayobridge goals while Jamie O'Reilly and Aaron McClements hit the net for Loughinisland for whom Ryan Stranny was impressive at midfield.

Burren, meanwhile, continued to justify their role of title favourites by overcoming Castlewellan 1-14 to 0-11. Shea McArdle grabbed Burren's goal while Donal O'Hare landed six points with Kevin McKernan, Gerard McCartan and Gerard McGovern all solid performers.

Fintan McGreevy worked hard in the Castlewellan attack while Kevin Duffin marshalled the defence and Cathal Crilly was a lively corner forward throughout.

Meanwhile, in the Monaghan senior football championship long-serving county star Tommy Freeman shipped a knock in the opening minutes of Magheracloone's 0-10 to 0-6 win over Doohamlet but still managed to play a useful role in their victory.

The Hughes brothers, Darren and Kieran, meanwhile, wielded the influence as Scotstown powered to a 0-13 to 0-8 over Latton for whom Monaghan skipper Owen Lennon worked hard but was unable to inspire his side.

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