|The year 2005 will be an especially important
one for Down's hurlers, whose place in Division
1 of the hurling league will present a great challenge
to the improving Northerners.
As 2004 draws to a close, Down can look back
with great satisfaction at an unexpected Division
2 title and a decent display against Antrim in
the Ulster final.
Boss John Crossey was rightly pleased, but he
stresses that the real hard work lies ahead of
the Ulster men.
"Our main objective at the start of the
year was to win Division 2 and thankfully things
went according to plan," he reflected.
"Had we won the Ulster title, it would have
been the icing on the cake but Antrim got the
better of us after a replay.
"Overall, though, I was very pleased with
the way things went for us this year. We got out
of Division 2 and we can look forward to playing
the big boys next year - something which hasn't
happened in 10 years."