By Mike Fitzpatrick
Down gained their second win of the season with a tremendous victory over their old nemeses Donegal in this junior football Div. A tie. Clearly the underdogs going into the game, Down fought for possession throughout and at the end of the day, an eight-point victory over a side such as Donegal, who incidentally, top the division, will not be sneezed at.
In recent years, the Mournemen have played well in games, tackled decisively and battled in midfield, but were always lacking in certain areas, therefore losing out on points that they should really have obtained.
Donegal were clearly rattled, having won their previous three games.
Down moved into an early three-point lead when Paul Kerins hit a goal, and Paddy Corry hit a point to cancel out Tony O’Donnel’s early point.
Four consecutive points followed without reply for Down, with Paul Gannon, Damian Gormley and Ronan Sexton all registering points.
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Frank Molloy saved well from Gormley, knocking his goalbound shot over the bar.
Down were on fire, with further efforts before the break from Kerins, Gormley and Marty Middleton leaving Donegal trailing by a massive 11 points going into the break.
After the break, Gary Dowd hit two points and stirred his teammates into mounting something of a comeback to bring Donegal to within eight points.
Down let their early second-half jitters pass, and gathered themselves to begin launching further attacks. Before they did however, Donegal had threatened their backline enough to bring the game to within four points, but the lads from the Mourne held on.
Late points from Gormley and Paddy Corry restored their eight-point lead, and in doing so moved themselves to fourth in the table.
Donegal, though disappointed at having lost their first game of this year’s campaign, will not be too stressed. Leading the table with six points from a possible eight, they are still well on course for a place in the playoffs.
Down: Singer O’Hare, Ronan Kearney, John Markey, Jake Rooney, Marty McGivern, Collie Fearon, Damian Ward, Chris McManus, Paul Gannon (0-1), Ronan Sexton (0-1), Martin Middleton (0-1), Gavin Barry, Paul Kerins (1-2), Damian Gormley (0-7), Paddy Corry (0-3). Sub: Colin Turley
Donegal: Frank Molloy, Pat McGill, Mark McClafferty, Donal Gormley, Paddy Burns, Gary Rocks, Owen Farrell, Martin Gallagher, Gary Dowd (0-3), Liam Gallagher (0-2), Shane Melly, Tadhg O’Donovan, Sean Travers, Tony O’Donnell (1-1), Anton Diver. Subs: Leslie McGettigan, James Doherty, Ronan McClafferty, Sammy Brogan (0-1), Eamon Diver.