Christy Ring Cup: Down cruise into final
07 June 2009
Mayo's dreams of reaching their first Christy Ring Cup final were well and truly dashed by a rampant Down side at Pairc Esler yesterday.
Jim McKernan's side recovered from a sluggish start to power into their first final since 2005. Three early points gave Mayo a 0-3 to 0-2 lead after six minutes, but with Simon Wilson and Gareth 'Magic' Johnson in fine scoring form, Down fought back to lead by 0-10 to 0-9 at the interval.
The second half proved to be a one-sided affair with Down scoring an unanswered 3-7 within 14 minutes of the restart. Paul Branniff, James Coyle and Eoin Clarke bagged the goals as the Ardsmen eased into a 17-point lead.
A shell-shocked Mayo had to wait until the 55th minute for the opening point of the second half from a Keith Higgins free. But there was no respite for the Westerners with Johnson adding a fourth Down goal before the end.
Scorers - Down: G Johnston 1-5 (1f), S Wilson 0-7 (3f, 1 '65, 1 pen), J Coyle 1-3, P Braniff 1-2, E Clarke 1-1 (1f), C Woods 0-2, M Ennis 0-1. Mayo: A Freeman (4f), K Higgins (3f, 1 pen) 0-6 each, D McConn, E Madigan 0-1.
Referee: A Stapleton (Laois).