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McCorry deflated by summer heartbreak after spring joy

By John Campbell

If the first three months of this year brought rich promise for Down, then the second quarter has delivered nothing but untold heartbreak.

When promotion to Division One of the Allianz League was secured, optimism abounded that this would prove a stepping stone to more lucrative success.

But it was not to be. Instead, a triple setback has now plunged the Mournemen into what can only be described as a mini-crisis.

First came that Division Two final defeat to Roscommon (1-17 to 0-15) and even when expulsion from the Ulster Championship at the hands of Derry (0-12 to 0-11) followed, the prospect of meaningful progress in the All-Ireland qualifiers was still considered a potential soothing balm.

Again, heartbreak ensued. Down's defeat to Wexford at the weekend not only leaves their season in ruins but presents manager Jim McCorry with the considerable challenge of restructuring a side that will prove worthy of maintaining the hard-won Division One status that has only just recently been attained.

McCorry, clearly deflated at the manner in which his side have been unable to confront important challenges, is already resigned to going back to the drawing board to build for the future.

"We will have to look at bringing additional players into the squad in terms of preparing for Division One next year," he conceded. "It's very disappointing to be out of the All-Ireland series at this juncture. What makes it even more difficult to take is that Wexford dominated us in nearly every sector of the pitch."

Down's early promise under McCorry had sparked a fresh wave of enthusiasm that the team could make an impact in the Ulster Championship, which they have not won since 1994, and perhaps a place in the last 12 of the All-Ireland race.

Instead, McCorry must now sift through the debris of a summer campaign that has provided him with headaches.

"We must absorb lessons. We allowed Wexford too much space and missed chances but they also missed chances. We have no complaints," added McCorry.

Belfast Telegraph


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