Down through to Ulster SHC final

Down 3-21 Derry 4-09

Down 3-21 Derry 4-09

John Crossey's Down booked their place in next weekend's Guinness Ulster Senior Hurling Championship final when easing clear of Derry in their second half of their semi-final replay today.

Unchanged from last Sunday's first tussle, the Mourne men kept Derry to just three scores in the second period in Belfast.

Gareth Johnson bulldozed through to notch Down's first goal on five minutes, and Crossey's charges went 2-01 to 0-03 in front seven minutes later thanks to Derry goalkeeper Kieran Stevenson's misjudgement of a Martin Coulter 70-metre free.

Down failed to build on Coulter's fluke goal, and 2-02 from the hurl of Derry marksman Geoffrey McGonigle had the sides tied at the break at 2-08 apiece.

Seconds after Coulter's score, McGonigle earned a 19-metre, and picked his ample frame up to strike it to the Down net.

Former Tipperary Under-21 John O'Dwyer drew his man on 16 minutes to set up McGonigle's second goal, and the Oak Leaf men were right back in it.

Sean McBride slammed home Derry's third goal five minutes into the second half, but a run of 1-07 from the Down attack saw them in the ascendancy.

McBride added his second and Derry's fourth goal midway through, but five late points - including scores from Johnson, Brendan McGourty and Stephen Clarke - will see Down challenge 2004 winners Antrim in seven days' time.

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