Doyle makes Down return

January 04, 2011

Down's Liam Doyle
Liam Doyle made his first appearance for Down in two-and-a-half years in a challenge match against Louth at the weekend.

The former captain and centre back played the final 10 minutes of the Mourne County's 0-11 to 0-16 defeat by the Wee County at Haggardstown. Doyle, who captained Down to All-Ireland minor glory in 1999, ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee after 20 minutes of the 2008 Ulster SFC semi-final loss to Armagh, having missed all of the previous season with an ankle injury.

He has also been hit with serious hamstring and quad problems during an injury-ravaged career.

Meanwhile, Martin Clarke believes Down's agonising defeat to Cork in last September's All-Ireland final will only make them more determined to succeed in 2011.

"It will make us hungrier, losing such a big game. We'll take the positive out of it. If you look at Cork, they were knocking on the door for a few years," the All-Star forward said.

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