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Kilcoo give the McIvers a double celebration

By John Campbell

The renowned McIver family from Ballymaguigan have certainly lapped up a double sporting bonus in fine style.

Just three days after former Derry boss Brian was confirmed as the new Director of Football in the Oak Leaf County, his son Paul piloted Kilcoo to a stunning 2-7 to 1-9 quarter-final victory over Burren in the Down Senior Football Championship quarter-final.

As a county, Down may have had their travails recently but this game in front of an enthralled 5,000-strong crowd at Pairc Esler, Newry not only underlined their playing resources but cemented the undoubted status of the Mourne flagship competition.

Ahead by 1-7 to 1-3 at the interval with Donal O'Hare having racked up 1-4 - his goal came from a well-taken penalty - Burren scored just two more points, both from O'Hare frees, as Kilcoo swept into overdrive and stamped their authority on the second-half.

With Ryan Johnston their playmaker supreme, Paul Devlin superbly accurate and the Branagan brothers Daryl and Aidan shoring up their defence, Kilcoo eventually took a giant step towards a fifth title since 2009.

Darragh O'Hanlon propelled Kilcoo down the home straight when he thundered home a 51st-minute penalty which allowed his side to close out the game by claiming ownership of the ball.

But there was disappointment for last year's provincial Intermediate champions Warrenpoint, who fell to Castlewellan by 0-20 to 2-6.

Aidan Burns proved the hero by amassing 11 points (seven frees) in a sustained burst of quality finishing and although Niall McGovern netted twice for Warrenpoint, his second goal coming from a penalty, they were unable to overhaul their opponents.

The last of the Down quarter-finals takes place at Pairc Esler, Newry tonight when Rostrevor face Ballyholland.

Ballyholland have punched above their weight but they will meet a side determined to make up for their demotion in the league. It is expected to go down to the wire.

Belfast Telegraph

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