Burns relief as Davidson helps stop Down rot
Down 1-11 Queen's University 1-8
It took Down just over 70 minutes yesterday to go some way towards erasing the hurt triggered by a painful statistic from 2016. For in that period, the Mourne men recorded just one competitive win.
So, it was no surprise that this hard-earned early-season success at Downpatrick triggered more relief than delight.
Manager Eamonn Burns was able to offer a more cheery disposition than normal, saying: "There were a lot of positives to be taken from this game, and a win is a win."
Former Down ace James McCartan, meanwhile, manages a Queen's side that displayed a sharp work ethic and no little skill in containing their hosts until the third quarter.
Even when they looked to have run aground at 1-9 to 0-4 - with Alan Davidson converting a penalty - they refused to lie down and kept Down on their toes right to the finish.
But when man of the match Cathal Magee stamped his class after the break, Down streaked clear, the Mayobridge player's three scores seemingly having ushered them into the comfort zone.
Queen's, though, grabbed a late goal through Donal McKeever and were still breathing down their opponents' necks at the finish.
Cavan referee Maggie Farrelly imposed her authority throughout and served duo Joe Murphy and Jonathan Flynn with black cards.
Scorers - Down: A Davidson 1-4 (1-0 pen), C Magee 0-4 (2f), J Flynn, B O'Hagan, D Savage (f) 0-1 each. Queen's: D McKeever 1-0, M Clarke (2fs), M O'Reilly, C McGrady (1f) 0-2 each, C Francis, S Fox 0-1 each.
Down: G McMahon; R McAleenan, G McGovern, D O'Hagan; D McKibbon, C McGovern, C Mooney; A Carr, J Flynn; J Murphy, C Magee, S Miller; A Davidson, B O'Hagan, D Savage. Subs: R Mallon for Murphy (BC, 10), Haveron for Savage (42), B McArdle for Mooney (48), C Maginn for Miller (50), P Turley for Carr (63), D Turley for O'Hagan (63).
Queen's - C Mullan Young; N Keenan, A Doherty, F Quinn; S Heffron, J McMahon, D McKeever; C McCartan, J Dowling; G Rushe, M Clarke, A Morgan; M O'Reilly; C McGrady, C Harney. Subs: R Campbell for Morgan, C Francis for Dowling (both h-t), A McClements for McGrady (46), B McCann for Doherty (52), S Fox for Harney, (62), A Fegan for Keenan (64).
Ref - M Farrelly (Cavan)