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Big win for classy Down against Wicklow

By Eanna O'Reilly

Down: 3-26, Wicklow: 0-14

Image via RTE

Down recorded a very impressive win over Wicklow in Aughrim to get their second victory of this year’s league campaign. The Mourne men came through a tight encounter with Carlow in round 2, but today’s result was in the bag long before the full-time whistle. After a competitive first half, Ronan Sheehan’s side floored their opponents in the second thirty-five minutes to claim a comprehensive victory.

Wicklow competed well in the opening half and matched Down for scores throughout. Andy O’Brien was accurate from frees for the home side, while Paul Sheehan was equally clinical for Down at the other end. Wicklow’s most eye-catching score came when Danny Staunton pointed a side-line. They had a very good goal chance in the first half, when Eoin McCormack blasted a shot which was well saved by Stephen Keith.

Paul Sheehan kept Down’s nose in front, landing his frees with tremendous accuracy, while he was also creative in setting up scores. He laid off a good pass for Jordan Doran to fire over a point, as well as pointing three frees in a row late in the first half.

A three-point margin meant Wicklow were still in the game at half time. However, Down lifted their game hugely in the second half, scoring two early goals to pull well ahead on the scoreboard. Eoghan Sands was lethal in the full forward line and finished off two Down attacks to the back of the Wicklow net to set the visitors on their way. Sheehan and Conor Woods also got some eye-catching points in the second half, while substitute Marc Fisher pointed from a side-line.

Andy O’Brien led the Wicklow resistance, adding a couple of points, but Down were in control. The visitors totally dominated the puck outs and Wicklow struggled to supply their forwards with ball as a result. Oisín McManus was very impressive for Down after coming on in the second half and finished with 1-3 to his name. McManus struck for Down’s third goal as they completed a rout of the home side. Ronan Sheehan’s men headed home with a 21-point win under their belts.

Down: S. Keith; M. Hughes, C. Taggart, C. Cassidy; M.Conlan, C. Woods (0-1 free), L. Savage (0-1); D. Hughes, C.Egan; R. Costello, P. Sheehan (0-11, 0-9 frees), P. McCrickard(0-1); D. Sands (0-3), E. Sands (2-1), J. Doran (0-1). Subs: T.Prenter (0-1) for Doran (43), B. Trainor for Savage (46), O.McManus (1-3, 0-1 free) for Costello (56), P. Doran for Sheehan (56), PJ Davidson (0-1) for Hughes (62), M. Fisher (0-2, 0-1 S/L) for McCrickard (56), M. Patterson for Cassidy (65).

Wicklow: C. McNally, D. Maloney, M. Mangan, M. O’Brien; M. Murphy, J. Henderson, P. Keane; S. Cranley, D. Staunton (0-1 S/L); E. Kearns (0-2), G. Weir, P. Doran; E. McCormack, A. O’Brien (0-7, 0-4 frees, 0-2 ‘65s), M. Lee (0-1). Subs: J. Doyle for Cranley (49), M. Boland for Lee (52), C.Moorehouse (0-3, 0-1 free) for McCormack (52), W. Kinsella for O’Brien (56), C. Breen for Maloney (58).

Ref: Chris Mooney (Dublin).

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