Harrison's cameo makes difference as Down triumph
Louth 0-11 Down 1-14
Connaire Harrison's late cameo secured Down an opening day victory against neighbouring Louth in Drogheda yesterday.
The Ulster side looked set for a comprehensive win when substitute Donal O'Hare put them 0-11 to 0-5 ahead with 18 minutes to play, but Pete McGrath's side dug deep and cut the deficit to just two points.
Harrison, however, showed his class with a goal and two points that finally ended the Wee County's resistance.
After trailing in a close first half, points from Darragh O'Hanlon and Morgan, either side of a Tommy Durnin score, gave Down some breathing space and they took a three-point advantage into the break when Harrison turned and popped over with his right foot from the 45m line.
Durnin's second of the game was just the start Louth would have wanted to the second half, but things became scrappy after that, with stoppages puncturing any sort of flow to the game.
Four points in seven minutes looked to have put Down in the box seat with O'Hanlon ruthless from dead balls.
Louth, however, built up a head of steam with Woods, captain Andy McDonnell and Derek Maguire bringing them within reach. Their momentum was checked by Harrison, though, the Glasdrumman man hitting two classy points before landing a late, killer goal.
Scorers - DOWN: C Harrison 1-3, D O'Hanlon 0-3 (3f), A Morgan, C Mooney 0-2, N Donnelly, S Millar, K McKiernan, D O'Hare 0-1 each. LOUTH: W Woods 0-6, (5f); T Durnin, D Maguire 0-2, A McDonnell 0-1.