Clarke brace pivotal
St Mary's 0-6
Down cruised to a 13-point victory over St Mary's University College in Newry yesterday.
The All-Ireland runners-up dominated from the start, with Kalum King and Declan Sheerin on top at midfield, and had a goal after just five minutes when Packie Downey placed John Clarke to finish to the net.
Peter Harte had St Mary's opening point after nine minutes, but Down continued to dominate as the ever accurate Mark Poland slotted over five points from frees -- Down leading 1-8 to 0-2 at half-time.
Ryan Boyle and Kevin Mossey had early points for St Mary's on the restart, but a second Down goal from Clarke nine minutes into the second half killed off the game as a contest.
Scorers -- Down: J Clarke 2-2, M Poland 0-7f, S Murdock, L Doyle, C Poland, J Boyle 0-1 each.
St Mary's: K Mossey 0-3 (0-1f) P Harte, R Boyle, M McKenna 0-1 each.
Down -- B McVeigh; D McCartan, D Gordon, P Bonny; A Brannigan, L Doyle, M Doran; K King, D Sheerin; E Sexton, S Murdock, M Poland; J Clarke, P Downey, C Poland. Subs: M McCartan for L Doyle; C Duggan for D Sheerin; J Boyle for R Sexton; A Carr for S Murdock; R Brady for C Poland.
St Mary's -- R McAnenley; M Slane, P Martin, D McKenna; R Boyle, B Canavan, C O'Hara; M McKenna, B Doyle; K Campbell, K Mossey, O McIvor; P Harte, J Gilmore, C Murphy. Subs: M Stevenson for C O'Hara; M Morgan for R McAnenley; C Doyle for P Martin; S O'Neill for O McIvor.
Ref -- D Helferty (Monaghan)