Sunday 24th March 2019
The Wee County kept their hopes alive and knocked Down out of the promotion race in the process when inflicting a 0-10 to 1-06 defeat on the Mourne County at Newry, Declan Byrne knocking over what proved to be the winning point at the three-quarters stage.
Down began brightly, scoring the opening two points of the match inside the first six minutes. Ryan Johnston got the scoring under way from distance before Conor Poland produced another fine effort as he used the windy conditions to his advantage to put Down two in front.
Declan Byrne opened Louth's account in the seventh minute from the right before Caolan Mooney fired over at the other end when chance to go for goal was on. That was on 10 minutes, but it was to be Down's final score of the half as Wayne Kierans' men took over. They were level with 15 minutes of the half remaining following James Califf's point from play and a close-range free off the boot of Sam Mulroy. They went in front for the first time five minutes later as Mulroy converted another free to make it 0-04 to 0-03.
Louth then had a goal chance on 32 minutes when Byrne found himself in space to shoot but Down keeper Rory Burns came off his line to make a superb stop to deny the visitors. Louth stretched their lead to four within six minutes of the restart courtesy of Tommy Durnin from play and another pair of Mulroy frees as the visitors continued to dominate possession and kickouts in particular.
Down - R Burns; R McAleenan, R Wells, K McKernan; D O'Hagan (1-1), C Flanagan, P Laverty; C Mooney (0-1), J Flynn; D Guinness, C Poland (0-1), R Johnston (0-1); B O'Hagan, D O'Hare, J Johnston. Subs: P Devlin (0-1) for C Flanagan, C Quinn for J Johnston, D McKibbin for P Laverty, B McArdle for R Wells, C Harrison (0-1) for B O'Hagan.
Louth - F Sheeky; F Donohue (0-1), E Carolan, J Craven; A Williams, B Duffy, J Clutterbuck; T Durnin (0-1), J Califf (0-2); C Brannigan, C Downey, J McEneaney; A McDonnell, S Mulroy (0-5f), D Byrne (0-1). Subs: D Maguire for J Clutterback, E Duffy for C Brannigan, C Early for J Califf, C McKeever for A McDonnell, R Burns for J McEneaney.
Referee - J Hickey.