McMenamin sends Down Premiers into final

County Down 1

County Londonderry 3

CONOR McMenamin’s double and another superb strike from Jamie Sharvin ensured County Down’s progression to the Vase Final at the expense of County Londonderry.

Londonderry midfielder Mikhail Kennedy had an 11th minute shot easily saved by Craig Barnett.

At the other end, Nathan McAleese sent his effort high and over the Londonderry crossbar.

Conor McMenamin stung the hands of the Londonderry keeper Andrew Finaly after 18 minutes.

McMenamin then opened the scoring two minutes later, turning neatly past his marker before side-footing low into the far corner.

A long ball from the back led to Londonderry’s equaliser with four minutes of first-half play remaining. Kennedy chested the ball down to Jack Higgins who buried the ball past Barnett from 20 yards.

A phenomenal Jamie Sharvin strike three minutes after the restart restored Down’s lead. The ball ran to Sharvin 20 yards from goal and his snap-shot rifled into the top corner of the Londonderry net.

McMenamin had an opportunity to further the County Down lead with 15 minutes to go but sent his shot wide of goal.

Five minutes later, Londonderry were reduced to ten men. Joel Bradley was sent off for an over-zealous challenge on Sharvin on the half-way line.

McMenamin wrapped up the match in the last minute. His initial lob was tipped onto the bar by Finaly, and McMenamin followed up for his second of the afternoon.

Team: Barnett, Hunsdale, Kane, McBride, Harwood, Sharvin, McAleese, Knipe, Murray, Bradley, McMenamin. Subs: Salatka, McGrath, Devine, McClelland, Mallen, Coffey