Cork 1-10 Down 0-13
Down just about secured their Allianz FL Division 2 status as three late points gave them a draw against Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn.
When John O’Rourke got his second point of the game for the hosts in the 60th minute, they were 1-10 to 0-10 ahead set to cruise to victory, but as on previous occasions in this league campaign, they allowed themselves to be shaken from a leading position,
Brothers Ryan and Jerome Johnston were the Down heroes, with Ryan cutting the gap to two before Jerome’s 69th-minute point from a 45.
While the latter was off-target with another 45, there was time for Down to win a free out on the right and he curled it over impressively with his left foot, results elsewhere seeing Down survive on scoring difference.
Had they lost and been relegated for the second year in a row, they would have been reflecting on poor shooting, particularly in the first half, when they had nine wides.
Colm O’Neill was in good form as Cork built an early lead and while Down responded with points from Darragh O’Hanlon and Caolán Mooney to trail by two, 0-06 to 0-04, Cork struck for a goal - Ruairí Deane with a nice finish from Paul Kerrigan’s pass.
Down goalkeeper Michael Cunningham pointed a late free to leave them four behind at half-time and they began the second half well with points from Barry O’Hagan, Mooney and Shay Millar.
The equaliser was elusive and when Cork pushed on again, through O’Neill, Kerrigan and Deane, that looked to be that. Down had other ideas, however.
CORK: K O’Halloran; M Shields, Tom Clancy (Clonakilty), K Crowley; C O’Driscoll, J Loughrey, S Cronin; A O’Connor, R Deane (1-01); K O’Driscoll, J O’Rourke (0-01), I Maguire; C O’Neill (0-06, 0-04 frees), P Kelleher, P Kerrigan (0-02).
Subs: A Walsh for O’Connor (half-time), D Óg Hodnett for Kelleher (46), B O’Driscoll for Maguire (48), J O’Sullivan for Clancy (53), J McLoughlin for Shields (57), D O’Connor for O’Rourke (70).
DOWN: M Cunningham (0-01, free); D O’Hagan, B McArdle, R McAnallen; D O’Hanlon (0-01, free), C McGovern, J Flynn; C Mooney (0-02), P Turley; K McKernan, C Maginn, R Johnston (0-02); B O’Hagan (0-01), J Johnston (0-05, 0-04 frees, 0-01 45), S Millar (0-01).
Subs: S Dornan for O’Hagan (46), J Murphy for Flynn (51), M Poland for Maginn (64), A Davidson for Millar (64).
Referee: J Molloy (Galway).