Down and Derry must do it all again after drawing at the Athletic Grounds on Sunday.
Derry were first on the scoreboard when Oisin McCloskey scored a point in the fifth minute. The sides then exchanged scores with Scott Nicholson getting Down’s opening score.
Two minutes later and Paddy Henry made it 0-03 to 0-01 after he converted a ‘65 metre free.
Further points were exchanged when Down’s Donal Hughes and David Kelly found the target to leave the score at 0-04 to 0-02 in favour of the Oak Leaf County.
Paul Braniff opened his account for the day when he slotted over a free from all of 70 metres out from goal.
Daniel Toner got in for a goal and added a point before Braniff and Gareth Johnson added further minors to make in 1-06 to 0-05 after 23 minutes.
Down outscored Derry three points to two in the next few minutes with Braniff and Hughes amongst the scores for the Mourne men. Two further points by Paul Sheehan made it 1-11 to 0-07 at half time.
Derry then hit three unanswered points to close the gap to a goal with Liam Hinphey orchestrating most of the scores, while Alan Grant got on the score sheet for the Oak Leafers.
Ruairi Convery and Kelly levelled the game as Derry fought back.
Another three unanswered points for Derry as Tiernan McCloskey and Liam Hinphey (2) raise white flags for Ger Rogan’s charges.
Then Braniff pulled one back for Down as they looked to get back into the game, despite only trailing by two points. Derry hit back with appoint before Johnny McCusker and Braniff again pointed for Down to level matters yet again.
Turley pointed for Down, but just when it looked as if that was enough for the Mourne men, upped popped McCloskey to fire over the equaliser for Derry.