JAMES McCARTAN'S Down showed all their battling spirit with two second half goals seeing them overcome Derry by 2-17 to 1-15 at Celtic Park yesterday in front of a crowd of 10,509.
Goals by Donal O'Hare and Mark Poland saw the Moure County men recover from a four-point half-time deficit to defy the home side in this Ulster SFC quarter-final.
The Oak Leafers looked to have the momentum when Mark Lynch scored a cracking goal to help his side to a 1-10 to 0-9 interval advantage.
But Down outscored their hosts 2-8 to 0-5 in the second half to seal a semi-final clash against reigning Ulster and All-Ireland champions Donegal.
The first of Down's match-winning goals came in the 45th minute when the industrious Conor Laverty set up the inrushing O'Hare who palmed to the net and seven minutes later the impressive Poland volleyed to the net from six metres
There was no way back for Derry, who much like Tyrone against Donegal seven days earlier, looked to have lost their focus in the concluding minutes as if they had resigned themselves to the qualifier path.