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Upcoming battles crucial for Down's Division Two future

 

By Declan Bogue

This week, Down player Keith Quinn posted on his Twitter: 'Some things don't work out for a reason... Now back to where it all started!!! #Mayobridge,' informing the world that he had stepped away from the world of county football and was going back to play ball for his club.

Nobody can be entirely sure of his intentions, but over five Allianz National League games, Quinn got only two minutes of action as the fourth sub against Roscommon. The two games previous to that he watched as manager Eamonn Burns used four substitutes - you are permitted to make six - and he wasn't utilised.

In the defeat to Clare, he wasn't one of the five subs.

One would hazard a guess that not being one of the four subs last weekend in the defeat to Cavan might have been the final straw for a player who was regarded as a wonderboy coming up through the ranks and who had played Championship on James McCartan's senior team in 2013, before moving to New York and living there for a few years.

It can't be easy being part of the Down panel right now. With high-flying Tipperary coming to Newry this weekend, and a fixture away to Meath that has a winner takes all feel to it for Division Two survival, this is a county that is struggling to deal with being on reduced means.

Relegation to Division Three is no picnic. As Armagh have found to their cost over the last couple of years, it is a sticky place to get out of.

Derry are in an even worse position, towards the foot of Division Three. So far they have only won a single game, against Offaly at home.

Manager Damian McErlain had the benefit of the Slaughtneil players back for last weekend's defeat to Armagh, but with Brendan Rogers suffering a hamstring injury, they need to race them more lightly.

With a game against Wexford at home this weekend, they should have enough to escape the drop, but Down are in bigger trouble.

Belfast Telegraph

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