DONEGAL MANAGED TO keep pace with Down for the first 20 minutes of their Ulster Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final before eventually losing by 24 points in Clones.
Ciaran Mathewson, Michael McGee and Paddy Hannigan all pointed to give the massive underdogs hope but they were made to pay for Mathewson’s missed penalty when Conor O’Prey scored the game’s only goal just four minutes later to give Down a 1-16 to 0-7 half-time lead.
Donegal never recovered and managed just three second half points as Down – especially Scott Nicholson (0-7) and Johnny McCusker (0-6) – ran riot to set up a semi-final with Derry.
The Oak Leafers came out on top of a high-scoring affair in the Athletic Grounds.
Brendan Rogers and Aaron Kelly were among the first half goalscorers for Derry as they eased into a nine point half-time lead 3-6 to 2-3
Johnny O’Dwyer added a fourth goal in the second half to set up a final four clash with Down on June 29.