Down defeat Wicklow to reach Tailteann Cup semis

John McGovern celebrates scoring a goal
John McGovern scored Down's goal in the first half at Pairc Esler [Getty Images]

Down moved a step closer to the Tailteann Cup final with a comfortable 1-18 to 0-12 victory over Wicklow in the quarter-finals.

John McGovern scored a first-half goal for Conor Laverty's side, who never looked like relinquishing their 1-6 to 0-5 half-time lead.

Fermanagh host Antrim and Sligo take on Limerick in Saturday's other quarter-finals.

Laois travel to Kildare in the final last-eight tie on Sunday.

Down eased their way to 1-18 to 0-12 win over Wicklow to book their place in the Tailteann Cup semi-finals.

Pat Havern top-scored with 0-6 while Shealan Johnston weighted in with four points from play in another impressive display.

Kevin Quinn chipped in with four frees for Oisin McConville’s side, but the Garden County failed to match Down’s cutting edge in attack.

Down got off to the best possible start when after just 4 minutes McGovern fisted into the Wicklow net.

James Guinness’s effort dropped short and McGovern, who also plays Irish Premiership football for Dungannon Swifts, reacted quickest to beat Mark Jackson to the ball.

Wicklow responded through Quinn and Jackson, but a Daniel Guinness strike on the cusp of the half-time whistle saw Down go in at the break with a 1-6 to 0-5 lead.

Down found their scores easier to come by in the second half, and with Havern and Johnston in prolific form, they eased their way to the semi-finals.