Last-gasp Hinphey dethrones Down
Derry 2-16 Down 3-12
DOWN were dethroned as champions by Kevin Hinphey's injury-time point as Derry bounced back in style from from their mauling by Kerry.
The hosts came in off the back of a 32-point defeat in Tralee, but settled quicker at Owenbeg and were the better side in the first half, leading by 1-9 to 1-4 at half-time, Oisin McCloskey bursting through 12 minutes before half-time to net for Derry.
The second half saw a vast improvement in quality and Derry seemed comfortable until Daniel Toner goaled after 49 minutes.
Toner and James Coyle both stepped up for Ger Monan's side and even though Shane Farren's touch to the net provided an instant reply to Toner's goal, the holders refused to surrender.
They were 2-14 to 2-8 down with 10 minutes to play, but Donal Hughes found space down the middle of the Derry defence and fed James Coyle, who lashed past Darrell McDermott.
Scores from Paul Sheehan, Michael Ennis and a Conor Woods free made it 2-15 to 3-12 on the 70-minute mark, but Derry launched one last attack and Hinphey fired the winner off his left side to end Down's reign.
SCORERS – Derry: R Convery 0-10 (8fs, 1 '65'), S Farren 1-1, O McCloskey 1-0, K Hinphey, B Rogers 0-2 each, A Grant 0-1. Down: J Coyle 1-4 (0-2fs), D Toner 1-1, J McCusker 1-0, C Woods 0-3 (2fs, 1 '65'), R Brannigan, M Ennis, P Sheehan, S Nicholson 0-1 each.
DERRY – D McDermott; M Warnock, L Hinphey, E McGuckin; P Cleary, K Hinphey, A Rafferty; B Og McGilligan, T McCloskey; C McQuillan, A Grant, A Kelly; S Farren, R Convery, O McCloskey. Subs: B Rogers for Grant (28), P McCloskey 6 for McGilligan (43), M O'Hagan for T McCloskey (51)
DOWN – S Keith; M Conlan, P Flynn 7, M Hughes; B Nicholson, C Woods, P Hughes; C O'Neill, C O'Prey; D Toner, D Hughes, R Brannigan; J McCusker, S Nicholson, J Coyle. Subs: M Ennis for O'Prey (34), P Sheehan for O'Neill (54), M Turley for Sheehan (69).
REF – O Elliott (Antrim)