Monday 4th February 2019
Down's bid for a swift return to Division 2 is up and running, and they have Caolan Mooney to thank after his stoppage-time goal sank Sligo at Connolly Park.
Mooney finished superbly five minutes into time added on as the Mourne men made up for their opening-round defeat to Laois.
Gutted Sligo, who were dealt a blow when leading scorer Pat Hughes was red-carded with two minutes of normal time left, appeared to have done enough to cling on for a much-needed win, having lost to Carlow the previous week.
Sean Carrabine's fine point gave Paul Taylor's men a one-point advantage, 1-10 to 0-12, a minute into added time.
Down could have levelled matters prior to Mooney's winner but Barry O'Hagan was off target with a point attempt.
Sligo struck 1-2 without reply in the opening five minutes - including a well-taken goal from Hughes.
However, this lead was whittled away and although they were still in front at the interval, 1-5 to 0-6, it didn't seem a sufficient advantage.
Down took the lead for the first time in the 55th minute after the first of Mooney's two points.
Sligo again went a point behind, 0-12 to 1-8, but a brace of points from Niall Murphy and Carrabine gave Sligo something to hold on to - until Mooney delivered the game's telling score.
SCORERS - Down: C Mooney 1-2, D O'Hare 0-4 (2fs); R Johnston, P Devlin (2fs) 0-2 each, J Johnston (f), P Havern 0-1 each. Sligo: P Hughes 1-2 (0-2fs); N Murphy 0-3 (2fs); S Carrabine (1f), L Gaughan 0-2 each, A Devaney 0-1f.
DOWN: R Burns 6; D O'Hagan 6, S Murnin 4, G Collins 5; S Fegan 6, C Flanagan 6, C Mooney 8; L Devlin 5, J Flynn 6; C Francis 6, C Poland 6, K McKernan 5; J Johnston 4, P Havern 6, P Devlin 5. Subs: R Johnston 7 for Murnin (15), D O'Hare 7 for J Johnston (27), D McCarthy for L Devlin (h-t), C Harrison 5 for P Havern (50), B O'Hagan 5 for P Devlin (54).
SLIGO: A Devaney 6; N Mullen 6, P Laffey 5, J Carr 5; L Nicholson 5, P McNamara 7, G O'Kelly-Lynch 6; P Kilcoyne 5, A McIntyre 6; L Gaughan 7, P O'Connor 5, S Carrabine 6; A Marren 6, P Hughes 7, N Murphy 6. Subs: C Henry 5 for Nicholson (53), A McLoughlin 4 for P Kilcoyne (57), B McGowan for P O'Connor (69).
REF - P Hughes (Armagh).