By Mike Fitzpatrick
Down 0-12, Sligo 1-8
Down move up in the Junior A table thanks to a narrow victory over their rivals from Sligo in this junior football Div. A clash in Gaelic Park on Sunday.
The Mournemen at times looked well capable of grabbing the spoils, but throughout the contest, we often wondered whether they could hold out for victory. Despite putting together some great moves from midfield, the Down lads wasted a number of opportunities which they would normally have scored from without a second thought. Too many times they took their foot off the proverbial pedal to allow Sligo back into the fray, and at times it seemed that Sligo would grab the all important points to move ahead of their Ulster rivals in the table.
Missing the experienced heads of player manager Collie Mathers and John Markey through injury, things did not auger well for the Ulster men, and despite some clever scoring from Martin Rooney and Martin Middleton, they allowed Sligo right back into the game on more than one occasion. Sligo’s Kevin O’Neill was the danger man from dead ball situations in particular, and the Down backline should be proud of themselves for containing him in the second half. A hard fought one-point victory for Down sees them move into third position in the table.
Down: Dougie Markey, Ronan Kearney, Marty McGivern, Jake Rooney (0-2), Ronan Bennett, Chris McManus, Gavin Barry, Paul Gannon, Colm Turley, Noel Sexton (0-2), Marty Middleton (0-2), Paul Kiernan, Martin Rooney (0-3), Collie Burns, Damien Ward (0-1.)
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Sligo: John Naughton, Fergus Durkin (0-1), Mike Gilligan, Ray Reynolds, Kenneth Barry, Kieran Kelly (0-1), Eamonn Duffy, Sean Washington, John Higgins (1-0), Alan Barry, Kevin O’Neill (0-4), Mark Glynn (0-1), John McVann, Tony Gallagher, Damien Sheehan (0-1).