Despite missing a number of players, Wicklow's hurlers still carved out a narrow win at Bray's astroturf pitch.
Marksman Jonathan O'Neill lined out in goal as he awaits an operation. In his absence up front, Andy O'Brien stepped up and his 1-8 was the key. Wicklow shot nine wides to their opponents' two in the opening half, but still managed to lead by 0-9 to 0-7 at the break.
O'Brien then struck for the vital goal. Down piled on the pressure in the final quarter, with Caolan Bailie and Daniel Toner to the fore, but Wicklow refused to yield.
Scorers – Wicklow: A O'Brien 1-8 (7f), R Keddy 0-2, E Mason, J Connors, T Doyle, C Moorehouse, M Lee 0-1 each. Down: D Toner 0-5, C Bailie 0-4f, A Savage, A O'Prey, J Coyle, Paul Sheeran (f), C O'Prey (f), M Turley 0-1 each.
Wicklow – J O'Neill; B Cuddihy, G Keogh, G Bermingham; G Byrne, B Osbourne, E Dunne; R Keddy, S Byrne; E Mason, J Connors, T Doyle; C Moorehouse, M Lee, A O'Brien. Subs: S McGrath for G Keogh (h-t), S Kinsella for E Mason (h-t), D Staunton for T Doyle (47), P Gahan for J Connors (63), G Fusciardi for M Lee (68).
Down – P McNally; C O'Prey, P Flynn, P Hughes; C Coulter, B Toner, E Clarke; M Ennis, A Savage; C Baillie, A O'Prey, S Nicholson; J Coyle, M Turley, D Toner. Subs: F Conway for P Flynn (8), P Sheeran for C Bailie (43), C Derrin for M Turley (49), A Bell for S Nicholson (62).
Ref – P O'Dwyer (Carlow)