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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 19 March, 2019
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Key forward in Down's march to 2010 All-Ireland season final retires after 13 seasons involved

Mark Poland was centre-forward for Down in that September decider.

ONE OF THE central figures in Down’s march to the 2010 All-Ireland senior football final has retired.

After 13 seasons with the Mourne county, forward Mark Poland has brought his Down senior football career to an end.

Paddy Kelly and Mark Poland Mark Poland in action against Cork's Patrick Kelly in the 2010 All-Ireland final. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Poland made the announcement last night on his Instagram account:

Thanks to all who helped me on my journey. Wearing the red & black was an honour. #over&out #andúnabú

Poland made a huge contribution to Down’s attacking play, most notably in 2010. That season from centre-forward he struck 0-3 against Donegal, 0-2 against Tyrone, 0-3 against Longford, 0-2 against Sligo and 1-2 in their surprise quarter-final victory over Kerry.

The 32-year-old’s early goal was the springboard for that win over the then reigning All-Ireland champions Kerry.

Source: PJ's Classic GAA Channel/YouTube

Poland chipped in with 0-3 in the semi-final success against Kildare and raised a white flag in the eventual narrow final loss to Cork.

The Longstone club man was restricted to substitute appearances in the 2017 season, sprung from the bench in Down’s Ulster championship ties as they qualified for the final where they were overturned by Tyrone.

Poland’s last outing came in Croke Park at the end of July when Down were defeated by Monaghan in their All-Ireland Round 4B qualifier.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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