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It's easy for Down as they swipe aside Armagh to make last eight

Down comfortably saw off neighbours Armagh in Crossmaglen to progress to the quarter-finals of the Christy Ring Cup where they will now meet Kildare.

The Ardsmen were better than their hosts throughout though former Waterford hurler and current Down coach Paul Flynn insisted that his squad still have room for improvement before their next game on Saturday.

"We weren't as efficient as we should have been," said Flynn. "We could have made it more comfortable for ourselves."

Down were the quicker side to settle and Paul Braniff proved to be as accurate from play as he was from the dead ball and with Gareth 'Magic' Johnson and James Coyle also finding their range Down raced into an eight-point lead after 26 minutes.

Cathal Carvill scored Armagh's first two points but Declan Coulter was their main attacking outlet and he added further points before the break meaning Down led 0-12 to 0-5 at half-time.

Down introduced substitutes at half-time including Donal Hughes who enjoyed an excellent second half. Coulter and Braniff traded scores early in the second half and successive points from James Coyle allowed Down to keep their commanding lead.

That lead grew sturdier on 49 minutes when Daniel Hughes scored the game's first goal with a neat finish. Armagh hit back with a goal of their own on 57 minutes from David Carvill but it proved too little too late.

DOWN: S Keith; M Conlon, P Flynn, P Hughes; C Coulter, B Toner, M Hughes; M Ennis, C Woods; S Nicholson, P Braniff (0-8, 3f 2-65s), K McGarry (0-1); D Toner (0-1), G Johnson (0-4), J Coyle (0-5); (Subs) F Conway for M Hughes (half-time), D Hughes (1-1) for K McGarry (half-time), E Clarke for D Toner (56), C Flynn for C Coulter (62).

ARMAGH: J Burke; C Devlin, C Clifford, B Breen; K McKernan, N Curry, T Donnelly; J Corvan, F Bradley; D Carvill (1-0), D Coulter (0-9, 5f 1-65), R Fullerton; C Corvan, C Reid, C Carvill (0-2); (Subs) Michael Lennon for R Fullerton (29 mins), Matthew Lennon for C Reid (48), P Hughes for T Donnelly (56), M Garvey for F Bradley (58).

• Monaghan County Board has been asked to investigate an allegation from Ballybay Pearse Brothers that their county player Drew Wylie was the victim of a sectarian remark during a county league match against Magheracloone.

The county champions walked off the field and refused to finish the match after their county defender Wylie had been red-carded just after half-time.

The club reported the nature of the remark alleged to have been made to Wylie, just before he was sent off, to the match referee.

They later issued a statement confirming that their players withdrew from the game after "an incident."

Belfast Telegraph