Thursday 22 March 2018

'Magic' Johnson steers Down to semis

Down 1-22 London 1-13: Christy Ring Cup

Down progressed to the semi-finals of the Christy Ring Cup after a comfortable victory over London on Saturday.

Gareth 'Magic' Johnson was top scorer with 1-9 in Ballycran including a 13th-minute goal - following a strong run by Donal Hughes - which set the home side on their way.

Down took advantage of the wind in the first half and a brace of points from play from Fintan Conway and Danny Toner helped them to a commanding 1-13 to 0-4 lead.

Peter Phelan scored a couple of points for London and when forward Luke Hands was fouled, Brendan Gaffney drilled home the penalty to reduce the deficit for the exiles, but Down still held a 1-14 to 1-4 lead at the break.

London got to within seven points of Down with two scores from Tadhg Healy and Nollaig Brophy also on target, but the result was never in doubt.

Exiles' defender Conor Hickey was harshly sent off for two yellow cards with 10 minutes remaining but it made no difference to the outcome as Down booked a place in the next round.

Scorers - Down: G Johnson 1-9 (7f, 1 '65'), F Conway 0-3, C Woods 0-3 (3f), D Toner, S Dineen 0-2 each, J Coyle, M McCullough, D Hughes 0-1 each. London: B Gaffney 1-0 (pen), P Phelan 0-3 (1f), T Healy, N Brophy 0-2 each, M Ryan, D Morkan, E Cooney, S Lambert, L Hands, M O'Dwyer 0-1 each.

Down - S Keith; N Conlan, P Flynn, M Hughes; D McManus, C Woods, M McCullough; D Hughes, F Conway; M Ennis, D Toner, S Dineen; C Egan, G Johnson, J Coyle. Subs: P Sheehan for Egan (62), S Nicholson for Coyle (66), E Sands for Johnson (69).

London - J Barrett; C Hickey, L Gaule, K Fitzpatrick; T Healy, M Ryan, D Morkan; E Cooney, N Rogers; P Phelan, N Brophy, S Lambert; L Hands, M O'Dwyer, B Gaffney. Subs: C McAllinden for Rogers (53), M Duggan for Gaffney (55), E Collins for Hands (61) M Fitzpatrick for Gaule (67).

Ref - E Hasson (Derry).

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