Sands strike helps Down edge out Exiles
Christy Ring Cup: Down 2-22 London 1-23
Down and London played out a thriller over in Ruislip yesterday, with the Mourne men just coming out on top.
The game was played in scorching hot conditions, with the teams very evenly matched, and the lead changed hands repeatedly in the opening half.
Down got the opening goal on 27 minutes when full-forward Danny Toner buried his effort to give his side a one-point lead (1-6 to 0-8).
London then got in for a goal of their own on the stroke of half-time, with Colin Nelson's scrappy score enough to see his side take an interval lead of 1-12 to 1-10.
London were very much on top in the second-half and will wonder how they didn't close out this game, but the lead changed hands again in the 62nd minute, with a goal from full-forward Daithí Sands which gave his side a 2-19 to 1-19 lead heading into the final stages.
Pearse Óg McCrickard looked to have won it for Down with time almost up, but London were awarded a close-range free late on which was cleared on the Down goal-line, with the rebound going narrowly wide.
Scorers - Down: D Toner 1-6, P Sheehan 0-7 (5f, 1 '65'), D Sands 1-2, P Og McCrickard 0-4, C Bailie 0-2, D McManus 0-1.
London: C Nelson 1-6, A Sheehan 0-7 (2f, 1 '65'), S Lawless 0-4, K O'Loughlin 0-3, C Burke 0-2, R Murphy 0-1 (1f).
Down - S Keith 6; B Byers 7, P McManus 7, M Hughes 8; M Fisher 6, R McCrickard 7, L Savage 6; R Branigan 7, D McManus 6; P Og McCrickard 7, C Bailie 7, P Sheehan 7; D Sands 7, D Toner 8, E Sands 6 Subs: M Magee 6 for Sheehan (62)
London - J Barrett 6; C Hickey 6, B Regan 6, D O'Regan 4; C McAlinden 6, K Reid 6, C Burke 7; F Collins 6, R Murphy 6; K O'Loughlin 7, M Dwyer 6, H Vaughan 6; A Sheehan 7, C Nelson 8, S Lawless 7
Subs: A O'Leary 6 for Hickey (35), J Troy 6 for Murphy (47), M Duggan 6 for Vaughan (53), S Lohan 6 for O'Regan (56), L Murphy 6 for McAlinden (60)
Ref - P Murphy (Carlow)