Down's All-Ireland bid came to a sorry end at Markievicz Park tonight as Sligo progressed in a poor quality qualifier, winning by 1-07 to 0-04.
Sean Davey's fifth-minute goal was Sligo's saving grace as both sides failed to like up to their billings in front of a 5,000-strong crowd.
Davey took an Adrian Marren pass to goal for the hosts and Mark Breheny added three frees for a 1-03 to 0-03 lead at the interval.
Daniel Hughes (0-02), Liam Doyle and sub Aidan Carr kicked Down's only points - Carr hit the Mourne men's sole score in the second half from a '45.
After full-forward Davey's strike, Down gathered their wits and steadied themselves well with points from Hughes and Doyle.
Hughes' second effort, towards the end of the first half, was cancelled out by Breheny who kept his side a goal clear with a delightful scores from 35 metres out.
With the rain beginning to spit down, Paddy O'Rourke's visitors looked a disinterested lot. Perhaps still not over their Ulster dismissal by Donegal, they just could not get into the game after the break.
A goal from skipper Benny Coulter might have changed that, but the Mayobridge clubman's shot cannoned back off the crossbar and away to safety.
Points from substitutes Paul Taylor and John McPartland eased the Yeats men into the second half, a free from Davey followed. Corner back Ross Donovan also sallied forward for a stand-out score.
Afterwards Sligo boss Tommy Breheny said: 'We're very pleased with that. I asked the players to go out there and give everything they had and that is exactly what they have done.'
Sligo: P Greene; C Harrison, N McGuire, R Donovan (0-01); B Kivlehan, P McGovern, K O'Neill; E O'Hara, B Egan; T Taylor, M Breheny (0-03 (3f)), P Doohan; K Sweeney, S Davey (1-01 (1f)), A Marren.
Subs used: P Taylor (0-01), J McPartland (0-01).
Down: B McVeigh; M Cole, B Grant, A Molloy; P Murphy, D Rafferty, A Scullion; A Rogers, D Gordon; R Sexton, L Doyle (0-01), R Murtagh; D Hughes (0-02 (1f)), B Coulter, M Doran.
Subs used: C Laverty, J Colgan, M Poland, M Walsh, A Carr (0-01 (1 '45')).
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath).