Braniff on rampage as Down crush Longford
Paul Braniff notched 1-10 as Down cruised into the second round with a comprehensive victory over Longford at Michael Fay Park on Saturday.
With a heavy fog hovering over the pitch, conditions were less than ideal, but when things got flowing, the Down men had far too much class for their hosts, who were out of their depth by a long way.
They shot into a seven-point lead after 15 minutes. Braniff and Owen Clarke were the tormentors-in-chief with 0-5 between them, while Conor O'Prey and James Coyle also chipped in.
Wing-forward Declan Tanner replied with Longford's first score after 16 minutes, but Down hit back, Braniff notching up another 0-2 before O'Prey hit an impressive 1-1 on the trot to increase the lead.
Tanner then hit two points for the hosts, sandwiching a score from Gareth Johnston, to leave the half-time scoreline 1-11 to 0-3 in Down's favour
The second half was an even more one-sided affair, with the Mournemen taking over completely to score 2-11, while their opponents managed just a single point from Eoin Donnellan's free.
After Braniff had extended his side's advantage even further, sub Stephen Clarke came in with a second goal which was quickly followed by a splendid Braniff goal to make the scoreline slightly embarrassing with over 20 minutes remaining.
Down closed out the game with points from the excellent Braniff and Clarke, who notched the final two scores to finish off this mis-match.
Scorers -- Down: P Braniff 1-10 (0-8fs), S Clarke 1-3, C O'Prey 1-2, G Johnston, O Clarke 0-2 each, James Coyle, K McGarry, D Flynn 0-1 each. Longford: D Tanner 0-3 (0-2fs), E Donnellan 0-1 (0-1f).
DOWN -- G Clarke; F Conway, S Watson, S Ennis; P Flynn, M Ennis, P Hughes; K McGarry, D Flynn; P Keith, G Johnston, C O'Prey; J Coyle, O Clarke, P Braniff. Subs: S Clarke for C O'Prey (42 mins), K Keating for G Clarke (50 mins), A Higgins for D Keith (55 mins), M Tague for P Hughes (63 mins), J McCusker for J Coyle (63 mins).
LONGFORD: P Cullen; M Cassidy, S Browne, F Daly; C Egan, B Stakem, C Finnucane; E Donnellan, J Lynam; D Tanner, J Newman, R Donnellan; G Ghee, J Minnock, J Casey. Subs: K Cox for Cassidy (43 mins), E Corcoran for J Casey (45 mins), S Lynam for C Finnucane (inj, 47 mins), P Corocran for R Donnellan (56 mins) and S Connolly for B Stakem (58 mins).
REF -- P O'Dwyer (Carlow).
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