Saturday 21 September 2019

Hat-trick hero Sands leads Mourne rampage

Down 6-21 Armagh 0-11

Co. Down hat-trick hero Daithi Sands. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Co. Down hat-trick hero Daithi Sands. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Daithi Sands spearheaded Down's destruction of Armagh with a hat-trick of goals at McKenna Park.

After an evenly contested first 15 minutes, Sands opened the floodgates when he turned his marker on the end line before rifling the sliotar past Finton Woods.

His brother Eoghan snatched an opportunistic goal after 27 minutes before Declan McManus was sent clear on 33 minutes to find the corner of Woods' net.

Earlier Pearse Og McCrickard went through but bounced his shot off the keeper's foot, and Eoghan Sands rattled the Armagh crossbar with a fierce effort.

Down were also accumulating points, while Armagh could only muster five first-half points, including three frees from Nathan Curry.

And when Davy Bridges saw red on 19 minutes for a wild pull on Sheehan, the writing was on the wall.

Eoin McGuinness was also sent off for a second yellow card midway through the second half.

By that stage it was damage limitation for Armagh and although Down eased off the throttle, were sitting back, Daithi Sands completed his hat-trick with two flashing finishes.

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Eoghan Sands sent one rasping shot just over the crossbar and when he bounced his next shot against the crossbar, Oisin McManus followed up to squeeze the sliotar to the net.

Down were really sharp and totally dominated the middle third; that resulted in quality ball being delivered to the full-forward line.

It's now off to London for Down in the next round and back to the drawing board for Armagh before their home game against Derry next week.

Scorers - Down: D Sands 3-3, P Sheehan 0-7 (5fs), E Sands 1-3, O McManus 1-1, D McManus 1-0, M Magee, D Toner, C Bailie 0-2 each, M Fisher 0-1. Armagh: N Curry 0-7 (6fs), D McCreesh 0-2, S Renaghan, D Magee 0-1 each.

Down - S Keith 7; B Byers 7, P McManus 6, M Hughes 6; M Fisher 7, R McCrickard 7 L Savage 7; M Magee 6, D McManus 7; P Og McCrickard 6, C Bailie 6, P Sheehan 7; D Sands 8, D Toner 7, E Sands 7.

Subs: O McManus for Bailie (h/t); E Coulter for Byers (37), J Crowe for Keith (50), T Murray for Sheehan (50), P McManus for Fisher (60).

Armagh - F Woods 6; O Curry, 5; P Gaffney 5, A Fox 5; C Clifford 5; A McGuinness 6, D Bridges 4; N Curry 7, J Corvan 6; D McKenna 5, P McGrain 5, S Renaghan 6; D McCreesh 5, E McGuinness 4, B Short 5. Subs: D Magee for Short (h-t), C McAnallen for McCreesh (47), D Grant for O Curry (50); G McKeown for A McGuinness (61), D Gaffney for Renaghan (61).

Ref - A Devine (Westmeath)

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