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Down secure Joe McDonagh Cup status with victory over Kildare

Monday 15th May 2023

Kildare 1-27 Down 3-13

Kevin Kelly, Belfast Telegraph

Down ensured that they will be playing in the Joe McDonagh Cup next season again after they preserved their status with a 1-27 to 3-13 victory away to a Kildare side who drop to the Christy Ring Cup as a result of this defeat.

Star of the show for the Mournemen was undoubtedly Pearse Óg McCrickard who finished the game with a magnificent 0-15 to his name with half a dozen of that haul coming from play.

It was a game that the visitors were always in control of and they led 0-15 to 1-6 at the break, Declan Flaherty with the Kildare goal. The hosts had the opening two points of the second-half via David Qualter but McCrickard responded with a brace before Kildare keeper Paddy McKenna converted a penalty.

Only three points separated the sides at this stage but Down then got in for a well-worked goal from Eoghan Sands. Liam Savage (4), Caolan Taggart (3) and Finn Turpin (2) all contributed for the winners while McKenna converted a consolation penalty in injury-time.

Tyrone made the trip to play Meath in the Christy Ring Cup and they returned home empty-handed. Sean Duffin top scored for the Red Hands with 0-5 to his name with Ruairi Slane 0-4, Mickey Little 0-3 and Sean Og Grogan 0-2 also among the points.

Jack Regan led the way in the scoring stakes for Meath with 0-9 to his name and there were also significant contributions from Eamon Og O’Donnchadha 0-4 and Pa Ryan 0-3 as it finished 0-28 to 0-20.

Armagh edged past Fermanagh in a Nickey Rackard thriller, 2-18 to 2-17. First half goals from Sean Corrigan and Caolan Duffy saw the Erne men establish a 2-11 to 1-7 lead, Fionntan Donnelly with four points for Armagh with Tomas Galvin their goal scorer.

Galvin bagged an early second-half goal and then Armagh turned the game on its head with nine unanswered points and they held on despite Fermanagh scores from Luca McCusker and JP McGarry.