Sheehan sets sights on Croker after Donegal rout
Down 7-22 Donegal 2-15
Ronan Sheehan says Down are gunning for Croke Park glory after a 22-point win over Donegal in Letterkenny on Saturday.
The Sands brothers, Dáithí and Eoghan, each hit a hat-trick as Down soared into the Christy Ring semis.
"We're 70 minutes from Croke Park and we don't get there too often," Sheehan said.
"That's our total focus. It's a great opportunity for us and this was a real confidence booster."
Eoghan Sands hit two goals late in the first-half, following an early major by Dáithí, as Down led 4-11 to 1-9 at the break.
Donegal keeper Paul Burns saved a penalty by netminder Stephen Keith after the resumption to keep the score down.
A Ciaran Matthewson penalty brought Donegal - who saw Gavin Browne net in the first period - within five, but the Sands boys rattled the net again and sub Ronan Blair smashed home a penalty to seal it.
SCORERS - Down: D Sands 3-3, E Sands 3-2, P Sheehan (5f) 0-7, R Blair (1-0pen, 1f) 1-1, L Savage 0-3, P Savage 0-2, T Prenter, O MacManus, C O'Prey, G Hughes 0-1 each Donegal: C Matthewson (1-0pen, 5f) 1-10, G Browne 1-1, D Cullen, C Flood, C Finn, L Henderson 0-1 each.
Down - S Keith; T Murray, C Taggart, D Mallon; M Fisher, J McManus, M Conlon; P Savage, L Savage; D Tonner, P Sheehan, T Prenter; D Sands, E Sands, O MacManus. Subs: C O'Prey for Prenter (18), G Hughes for Fisher (45), R Blair for MacManus (58), M Patterson for Murray (61), PJ Davidson for Sheehan (61).
Donegal - P Burns; C Parke, C McDermott, S Gillespie; J O'Loughlin, S McVeigh, C Flood; J Boyle, D Cullen; R McDermott, C Matthewson, C Finn; G Browne, N Cleary, D Duffy. Subs: L Henderson for Cleary (h-t), PJ McCarron for Cullen (55), S Anderson for O'Loughlin (58), C McDermott for Duffy (58), R Hilferty for Gillespie (61). Ref - S Hynes (Galway).