Sheehan sparks Down's charge
Down 2-22 Derry 2-15
Down took the points on offer as they proved too strong for Derry at Portaferry.
While Derry took an early lead, Down went straight downfield for Paul Sheehan to blast a Danny Toner pass to the Derry net.
Cuala clubman Naoise Waldron started for the Derry men and he had the next four points for his adopted county, but Down replied with further points from Sheehan and Toner.
When Sheehan stood over a 35-metre free no-one anticipated the drilled pass to Danny Toner, who shot past Daryl McDermott for an opportunist goal.
Down stretched the lead to 10 points by the 30th minute, before Aaron Kelly turned his marker 40 metres out and drove through to find the net.
The early exchanges in the second-half were even, but when points from Ruairí Convery and Alan Grant were followed by Convery's penalty the gap was down to two (2-14 to 2-12).
This was as close as Derry got, as Down shot six unanswered points to extend the gap.
Scorers - Down: P Sheehan (1-9 0-7f,0-1 65"), D Toner (1-4), C Bailie (0-3), C Woods (0-2), C Mageean, D Hughes, M Magee, O McManus 0-1 each. Derry: R Convery (1-4, 1pen 4f), N Waldron (0-6, 0-5f), A Grant (0-2, 0-1f), O McCloskey (0-2), A Kelly (1-0)
Down - D Ennis 8; J McManus 7, M Hughes 6, A Bell 7; S Ennis 8, C Woods 9, M Ennis 8; S Nicholson 8, D McManus 8; C Mageean 7, D Hughes 8, M Magee 9; P Sheehan 9, C Bailie 8, D Toner 7. Subs: O McManus for Mageean; C Egan for Bell; G Hughes for Nicholson
Derry - D McDermott 7; P Turner 8, S McCullagh 7, D McCloskey 6; C Steele 6, L Og Hinphey 6, B Og McGilligan 7; E Cassidy 7, E McGuckin 6; A Grant 7, G McCormick 7, A Kelly 7 ; O McCloskey 6, K Hinphey 6, N Waldron 7.Subs: R Convery for McCormick, M McGuigan for McGuckin, C Waldron for D McCloskey, J O'Dwyer for Grant, P Henry for K Hinphey
Ref: C Cunning (Antrim)