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Garden county capture crown

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Wicklow players Jonathan O'Neill, left, Mikey Lee, 11, and Gary Byrne celebrate at the final whistle

Wicklow players Jonathan O'Neill, left, Mikey Lee, 11, and Gary Byrne celebrate at the final whistle

Down's Fintan Conway, 9, and Wicklow's Jonathan O'Neill involved in an off the ball incident. Conway was sent off by the referee for the incident

Down's Fintan Conway, 9, and Wicklow's Jonathan O'Neill involved in an off the ball incident. Conway was sent off by the referee for the incident

Down's Johnny McCusker charges past Wicklow's Billy Cuddihy and Gary Byrne

Down's Johnny McCusker charges past Wicklow's Billy Cuddihy and Gary Byrne

Wicklow's Gary Byrne is tackled by Down's Donal Hughes

Wicklow's Gary Byrne is tackled by Down's Donal Hughes

Wicklow's Christy Moorehouse in action against Down's Johnny McCusker

Wicklow's Christy Moorehouse in action against Down's Johnny McCusker

Wicklow's Wayne O'Gorman in action against Down's Michael Hughes

Wicklow's Wayne O'Gorman in action against Down's Michael Hughes

Wicklow's Christy Moorehouse is sent off by referee John Keane

Wicklow's Christy Moorehouse is sent off by referee John Keane

The Wicklow squad celebrate with the cup after the game

The Wicklow squad celebrate with the cup after the game

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Wicklow players Jonathan O'Neill, left, Mikey Lee, 11, and Gary Byrne celebrate at the final whistle

Wicklow were crowned champions following a hard-fought victory. The Leinster side started brilliantly, racking up four unanswered points in as many minutes.

Conor Woods pointed a free for Down on six minutes, but it almost reached the 20 mark before they scored from play, as Conor O'Neill sent the ball over the bar. Wicklow's Mikey Lee sent over five points from frees before half-time and added two from play to give his a three-point lead at the break.

Scott Nicholson was introduced for Down shortly after the restart and made an immediate impact with a goal. Fintan Conway then struck his opponent, having already been shown a red card for dangerous play.

Lee put his side two points clear, and despite a late red for Christy Moorehouse, the Garden County held on.

Scorers – Wicklow: M Lee (8f) 0-10, W O'Gorman 0-4, D Staunton 0-3, M Lee, A O'Brien, C Moorehouse 0-2 each. Down: J McCusker (6f) 0-6, S Nicholson 1-1, C Woods (1 '45', 2f) 0-4, C O'Prey, C O'Neill, D Toher 0-2 each, S Ennis 0-1.

Wicklow: T Kennedy; E Dunne, S Kelly, B Cuddihy; G Byrne, L Kennedy, S Byrne; J Henderson, R Keddy; C Moorehouse, M Lee, J O'Neill; A O'Brien, W O'Gorman, D Staunton. Subs: J Bermingham for B Cuddihy (51), TJ Hennessy for R Keddy (70).

Down: S Keith; M Conlan, P Flynn, M Hughes; B Nicholson, C Woods, P Hughes; D Hughes, F Conway; D Toner, C O'Neill, C O'Prey; S Dineen, S Ennis, J McCusker. Subs: R Brannigan for P Huges (35), S Nicholson for S Dineed (42), M Turley for C O'Neill (50), P Sheehan for C O'Prey (60), E Clarke for M Hughes (66).

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