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Two points that could Tally well for Down

Down 0-14 Derry 0-12

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Down took the lead for the first time in Saturday’s derby in Páirc Esler as late as the 67th minute. (stock photo)

Down took the lead for the first time in Saturday’s derby in Páirc Esler as late as the 67th minute. (stock photo)

Down took the lead for the first time in Saturday’s derby in Páirc Esler as late as the 67th minute. (stock photo)

Paddy Tally didn't want to talk to his players about the elephant in the room but was able to after winning a game that could have massive consequences for Down's summer.

Down took the lead for the first time in Saturday's derby in Páirc Esler as late as the 67th minute, and they timed their run perfectly to boost their promotion hopes - and potentially avoid the dreaded Tier Two championship.

"This Tier Two thing is looming and as much as you don't want to talk about it and say to the players it's not important now, all your focus needs to be on the game, you boys in the media and everyone else is talking about it," admitted the Down boss.

"The players are hearing about it and it is the topic of conversation. But it's a long way away and it's just good to win a mighty game like that.

"It became a game of nerve towards the end and we've been on the receiving end of games where we've put in a big effort and got nothing out of it, so we know how Derry are feeling.

"They had better scoring chances and if they had got a couple of points we mightn't have got back into it.

"We went down to 14 players at a crucial time but we kicked on and played really well towards the end."

Scorers - Down: D O'Hare 0-6 (6f); J Johnston (1m) 0-2; C Poland, B O'Hagan, O McCabe, C Quinn, D Guinness, L Kerr (m) 0-1 each. Derry: S McGuigan 0-7 (4f); C McKaigue, S Downey, B Heron, A Doherty, C Bradley 0-1 each.

Down: R Burns 7; D O'Hagan 7, B McArdle 7, R McAleenan 6; G Collins 6, K McKernan 6, S Annett 6; J Flynn 6, C Poland 7; B O'Hagan 7, P Devlin 6, J Johnston 7; O McCabe 7, D O'Hare 8, C Quinn 7.

Subs: L Kerr 8 for Devlin (44), P Fegan 6 for McAleenan (49), P Havern 6 for Quinn (51), D Guinness 7 for Collins (55), S Dornan NR for Johnston (70).

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Derry: O Lynch 7; C McCluskey 6, P McGrogan 6, L McGoldrick 6; B Rogers 6, C McKaigue 7, N Keenan 6; P Cassidy 7, E Bradley 6; S Downey 7, D Tallon 6, C McFaul 6; B Heron 6, S McGuigan 7, A Doherty 6.

Subs: N Toner 6 for Heron (49), R Bell 6 for A Doherty (55), C Doherty 6 for McCluskey (57), C Bradley NR for Keenan (68), G O'Neill NR for Downey (70).

REF - PHughes (Armagh).

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