Saturday 21 October 2017

Nicholson tops bill for Down

Down 3-16
Armagh 2-10

Paddy McCloskey, Down, in action against Paul Keith, Derry. Ulster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final, Down v Derry, Casement Park, Belfast, Co. Antrim. Photo: Sportsfile
Paddy McCloskey, Down, in action against Paul Keith, Derry. Ulster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final, Down v Derry, Casement Park, Belfast, Co. Antrim. Photo: Sportsfile

After a timid opening half in which scores were slow in coming, this semi-final really blossomed after the break with Down emerging best thanks mainly to two quick-fire goals.

After leading by 0-8 to 0-5 at half-time, Myles Nicholson scored Down's first goal and they quickly added four points before Eoghan Sands finished a good move with another goal. Armagh fought back to within three late on, but Down's scoring surge sealed their fate.

Earlier, Down opened with four points from Lorcan McMullan (two), Chris Egan and Conal Fitzsimons. Armagh hit back through Caily Gorman, Mattie Lennon and Sean Colton.

Ryan Donnelly's goal gave Armagh hope and when Lennon scored their second midway through the half, they had reduced the gap to three points. But Down hit back with a third goal from Nicholson.

Scorers -- Down: M Nicholson 2-2, E Sands 1-0, C Bailie, L McMullan 0-4 each, C Egan 0-3, C Fitzsimons 0-2, S Mageean 0-1. Armagh: M. Lennon 1-3, R Donnelly 1-1, C Gorman 0-3, S Colton, B Coulter, T Donnelly 0-1 each.

Down -- S Savage; C Costello, J McGrath, C Taggart; R Brannigan, G O'Neill, J McManus; L McMullan, C Egan; S O'Callaghan, R Burns, C Bailie; E Sands, M Nicholson, C Fitzsimons. Subs: S Mageean for R Burns (38), P Og McCrickard for S O'Callaghan (55), B Byers for C Fitzsimons (55).

Armagh -- R Lundy; C Hughes, C McNaughton, R Magee; T Donnelly, P Lappin, D Mone; S Renaghan, R Fullerton; T McKernan, S Colton, P Duffy; C Gorman, M Lennon, M McCullough. Subs: C Duffy for R Fullerton (35); R Donnelly for T McKernan (35); B Coulter for M McCullough (40); C McNally for P Duffy (60).

Ref -- E Hassan (Derry).

Irish Independent

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