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London improve, but still lose

PUBLISHED: 14:48 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:14 24 August 2010

By Larry Cooney RELEGATED London put in their best performance of the campaign on Saturday - but still suffered a 2-16 to 0-13 defeat by Down at Newry. A goal from Gareth Johnston three minutes from time secured victory for Down, but it was a flattering s

By Larry Cooney

RELEGATED London put in their best performance of the campaign on Saturday - but still suffered a 2-16 to 0-13 defeat by Down at Newry.

A goal from Gareth Johnston three minutes from time secured victory for Down, but it was a flattering scoreline against an Exiles team who battled hard.

London were well in contention at half-time as they trailed by just one goal, from Down's James Coyle in the 13th minute to give the hosts a 1-4 to 0-3 lead.

The Exiles' three points came from the first of Martin Finn's nine pointed frees and the other two, from Stephen Malone and Noel O'Callaghan, sandwiched a James Coyle point three minutes before he raised Down's first green flag.

Further points from Paddy Coulter, Brendan McGourty, Ruari McGrattan and Paul Branniff in reply to two points from Seanie Quinn and another two Finn frees made it 1-8 to 0-8 at half-time.

Although they were playing with the breeze, Down still faced stubborn resistance from the Exiles for much of the second half.

Three points from Branniff, including two from play and a pointed free from Johnston were cancelled out by four more Finn points from placed balls.

But, after Finn's only unsuccessful free in 10 attempts at the posts, Down finally seized control with two more points from Branniff, including one from his fifth successful free.

A point from midfielder Andrew Savage put Down into a comfortable 1-15 to 0-12 lead before Finn added London's final score with five minutes remaining.

Johnston's goal, followed by a free from the same player just before the final whistle, did not reflect London's best display of their disappointing season.

London: Burke (Kilburn Gaels); Mythen (Sean Treacy's), Creavin (Bros Pearse), Mulcahy (Bros Pearse); Morris (Beagh-Galway), Healy (Robert Emmett's), Abernety (Robert Emmett's); Malone (Bros Pearse), Quinn (Robert Emmett's); O'Halloran (Tulla-Clare), Finn (St. Gabriel's), McGaughan (Robert Emmett's); O'Connor (Bros Pearse), O'Callaghan (Kilbrown-Cork), Fagan (Kilburn Gaels). Subs: McMullen (Robert Emmett's), Glynn (Kilburn Gaels).

Scorers: Finn 0-9(0-9)f, Quinn 0-2, Malone 0-1, O'Callaghan 0-1.

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