A second-half masterclass saw Down put an outmatched Wicklow to the sword as goals from Eoghan Sands (2) and Oisin McManus saw them canter to victory.

Paul Sheehan was the tormentor in-chief for Ronan Sheehan's outfit in a largely nip-and-tuck first-half in Aughtrim. His first of nine converted frees set the tone for the opening period, while his counterpart, Andy O'Brien was the principle threat for Eamonn Scallan’s men, who remain bottom of Division 2A with three defeats from three.

Down’s gameplan saw them utilise a high press to force Wicklow into relying on long puck-outs. It was a tactic that paid dividends, as they turned over seven of Wicklow’s 16 restarts in the first half.

The visitors led by 0-03 to 0-01 after nine minutes only for Danny Staunton to spark a home revival with the score of the half, a sumptuous sideline cut from the '45.

A further Mikey Lee score from play set the stage for the two sides to spend much of the remainder of the half trading scores at each end.

The best goal chance arrived for Wicklow when Eoin McCormack took advantage of a goalmouth scramble, claimed possession, and ripped the ball towards the net, only to be denied by Stephen Keith in the Down goalmouth.

As the half came to a close, Paul Sheehan stepped forward with a trio of late frees, as well as turning provider for well-worked score from play from Jordan Doran, sending the visitors into the break with a three-point lead.

Down ran away with proceedings in the second half. A magnificent free from Conor Woods, right on his own 45-metre line, foreshadowed the rout that would follow, and when Eoghan Sands fired in two quick goals shortly thereafter, the match was over as a contest.

Wicklow struggled to put together any sort of momentum and only managed one score, an O'Brien strike from play before the water break, at which point they were already 14 points down.

Seemingly wanting to add to their personal highlight reel, Marc Fisher emulated Danny Staunton with a lovely sideline cut, while Oisin McManus capped his final substitute cameo with the third goal.

Wicklow, unable to maintain any control of the ball for much of the second half, were restricted to just five points in total as Down ran out convincing victors.

Wicklow: Conor McNally; David Maloney, Michael Mangan, Martin O’Brien; Mark Murphy, John Henderson, Peter Keane; Shaun Cranley, Danny Staunton (0-1); Eamonn Kearns (0-2), Gavin Weir, Padraig Doran; Eoin McCormack, Andy O’Brien (0-7, 4f, 2 65), Mikey Lee (0-1).

Subs: Jack Doyle for Cranley (49), Michael Boland for Lee (52), Christy Moorehouse (0-3, 1f) for McCormack (52), Wayne Kinsella for O’Brien (56), Ciaran Breen for Maloney (58).

Down: Stephen Keith; Michael Hughes, Caolan Taggart, Conor Cassidy; Matt Conlan, Conor Woods (0-1f), Liam Savage (0-1); Donal Hughes, Chris Egan; Ronan Costello, Paul Sheehan (0-11, 9f), Pierce Óg McCrickard (0-1); Daithi Sands (0-3), Eoghan Sands (2-1), Jordan Doran (0-1).

Subs: Tim Prenter (0-1) for Doran (43), Barry Trainor for Savage (46), Oisin McManus (1-3, 1f) for Costello (56), Padraig Doran for Sheehan (56), PJ Davidson (0-1) for Hughes (62), Marc Fisher (0-2) for McCrickard (56), Mark Patterson for Cassidy (65).

Referee: Chris Mooney (Dublin).