Ulster SHC: Down hammer Armagh in Newry quarter-final

Armagh's Kevin McGarry challenges Declan Coulter in the quarter-final

Down cruised to a 3-20 to 1-11 win over Armagh in Sunday's Ulster SHC quarter-final at Pairc Esler.

James Coyle's early goal put the Mourne side in control but Armagh hit back through John Corvan's excellent goal.

Scott Nicholson netted before the interval to give Down a 2-8 to 1-7 lead at half-time.

Down surged clear in the second half and a late Johnny McCusker goal sealed a comfortable victory for the Christy Ring Cup winners.

Coyle's early strike helped his side to a 1-5 to 0-3 lead at the end of the opening quarter.

Danny Toner, Gareth Johnson, Paul Braniff and Donal Hughes all claimed valuable points as Down moved five points clear.

Armagh kept in touch thanks to Declan Coulter's five first-half points and Corvan's goal.

Down found an extra gear on the restart, with the visitors held to just four second half points and Coulter taking three of those scores.

Hughes, Conor Woods, Paul Sheehan and McCusker added some brilliant points in the closing 35 minutes.

McCusker's goal firmly sealed Down's passage to the semi-finals.

Scorers for Down: James Coyle 1-3; Johnny McCusker 1-1; Donal Hughes, Paul Braniff, Paul Sheehan 0-4 each; Scott Nicholson 1-0; Danny Toner 0-2; C Woods, G Johnson 0-1 each.

Scorers for Armagh: D Coulter 0-8; J Corvan 1-0; D Carvill 0-2, C Carville 0-1 each.