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Hurling: Down braced for Wicklow test

Down will face Wicklow in the Allianz Hurling League Division 2A relegation play-off on Sunday week.

Ger Monan’s side finished their league campaign against Westmeath on Sunday at Newry where they fell to a 3-21 to 2-20 defeat to the Midlanders.

The fourth reverse of the campaign means Down remain rooted to the bottom of the table with just one point from five outings.

Their drawn encounter was against Wicklow who they will tackle in the play-off on April 15.

Westmeath will face Carlow in the final on the same date for promotion to Division 1B.

Yesterday’s game at least saw Down make a respectable return on the scoreboard.

Monan’s side have been struggling for scores this year and the tally of 2-20 will please the manager as they face into that make or break clash against Wicklow.

The sides were level at the break, Down with 1-9 to Westmeath’s 0-12, and the Ulster side trailed by just three points with five minutes to go.

Results elsewhere meant that Derry and Kerry played out a dead rubber at Celtic Park, however the Oak Leafers weren’t to know that going into the game with Ger Rogan’s side needing to win to be sure of avoiding the relegation play-off.

They did so in convincing style, leading by 0-9 to 1-2 at the break and seeing out a five-point win, |0-15 to 1-7, to secure Division 2A status next year.

In Division 2B, Armagh’s poor form continued against Meath at Crossmaglen where the home side lost 1-19 to 0-8.

The defeat means Armagh finish one from bottom but with no relegation from Division 2B, the Orchardmen avoid a dreaded play-off situation.

There will be Ulster interest in the lower divisions finals with Monaghan facing Fingal in the Division 3A decider.

Fermanagh will take on Warwickshire in the Division 3B final.

The Ernemen had already booked a place in the final prior to yesterday’s scheduled game against Longford but the Midlanders were unable to field a side at Brewster Park.

Belfast Telegraph