Storey focusing on Meath with status secure
Wicklow 2-19 Donegal 1-9
Wicklow hurling manager Martin Storey insists he is focused on preparing for the Christy Ring Cup after his side cemented their place in Division 2B of the Allianz National Hurling League.
The Garden County comfortably defeated a dogged Donegal in the relegation play-off which was moved from Newry's flooded Pairc Esler to the 4G pitch of St Colman's College.
Lee Henderson gave Donegal an early led but Wicklow eased into the game and assumed control with Diarmuid Masterson top-scoring with 11 points.
Christy Moorhouse replaced Mikey Lee in the opening half and he injected pace and purpose into the Wicklow side who were double Donegal's 0-5 tally at the break.
Wicklow enjoyed a touch of good fortune when Stephen Kelly's side-line cut deceived everyone and landed sweetly into the Donegal net to give the Leinster side a 1-14 to 0-5 lead after 43 minutes.
Donegal battled and Ciaran Matthewson narrowed the gap to nine points with a cracking goal but Jamsies Donnelly's red card, for a second yellow, followed by Wicklow's second goal from substitute Moorehouse, put the game to bed.
Donegal have another chance to avoid the drop when they face Roscommon next weekend, whereas Wicklow are already turning their attention to the Championship, according to manager Martin Storey.
"We have three weeks to prepare for Meath and we have a lot of work to do and we know we have to improve. It is about getting as many players on the pitch as much as we can and get them to do right things and keep going," said Storey.
scorers - Wicklow: D Masterson (0-11, 0-6f), C Moorhouse (1-2), S Kelly (1-0), A Byrne (0-2), E Kearns (0-1). Donegal: C Mathewson (1-2, 0-2f), L Henderson (0-3), S McVeigh (0-2), D Cullen (0-1), K Campbell (0-1).
Wicklow - D O'Neill 7; L Maloney 6, B Cuddihy 7, C O'Dalachain 6; P Keane 7, J Henderson 7, M O'Brien 6; R Keddy 6, E Kearns 7; D Masterson 8, S Kelly 7, P Doran 7; M Lee 6, A Byrne 7, T Storey 6.
Subs: C Moorhouse 7 for Lee (21'), D Staunton 6 for O'Brien (48), J Cranley 6 for Doran (65)
Donegal - P Burns 7; P Doherty 6, J McGhee 6, M Callaghan 7; J O'Loughlin 6, J Donnelly 6, S Gallen 7; C Mathewson 7, C Flood 7; L Henderson 6, S Doherty 6, S McVeigh 6; D Cullen 6, K Campbell 7, B Lafferty 6. Subs: P Nelson 6 for Doherty (28), P Sheridan 6 for Gallen (48), Hannighan 6 for Campbell (59).
ref - James Clarke (Cavan).