EirGrid Ulster U20: Derry impress in Clones
EirGrid Ulster Under 20 Final
DERRY 2-15 ARMAGH 0-14
By Francis Mooney at St Tiernach's Park, Clones
Derry were crowned inaugural Ulster Under 20 Football champions as they defeated Armagh with a sparkling second half performance to lift the Danny Murphy Cup.
Brian Cassidy came off the bench in the sweltering Clones sunshine to bang home two goals and seal the title for a talented Oak Leaf side that has sparked hopes of a new golden generation for the county.
The Orchard men, buoyed by the successful appeal over eight of 10 suspensions incurred following the semi-final win over Tyrone, got off to a bright start with scores from Ross McQuillan and Rian O’Neill.
They were looking strong as centre back Conor O’Neill powered through for a point, but towards the end of the opening quarter, Callum Brown and Oisin McWilliams began to exert their influence and Derry started to find ways to counteract the effectiveness of sweeper James McAlinden.
Declan Cassidy edged them ahead for the first time at the end of the opening quarter, and a superb Ben McCarron effort stretched the lead.
Derry picked off two points late on, through McCarron and Cassidy, to take a 0-8 to 0-6 lead into the break.
Just two points separated the sides when substitute Brian Cassidy colecte a superb Lorcan McWilliams pass to net his first goal, and now Derry had the breathing space they needed in order to express themselves fully.
The goalscorer added a couple of delightful scores, and added a second goal from callum Brown’s assist to seal the deal with five minutes to play.
Man of the match Declan Cassidy brought his tally to five from play, while Armagh’s best attacker, also hit five.
Scorers for Derry: Brian Cassidy 2-2, D Cassidy, L McWilliams (4fs) 0-5 each, B McCarron, J Duffy 0-2 each, O McWilliams 0-1.
Scorers for Armagh: R McQuillan 0-5, R O’Neill 0-4 (2fs, 1 ’45), C O’Neill 0-2 (1f), J Kieran 0-1.
DERRY: O Hartin; S McKeever, D Rafferty, C McShane; E Concannon, C McCluskey, P McGrogan; C Brown, O McWilliams; C Doherty, S Downey, B McCarron; M McGrogan, L McWilliams, D Cassidy.
Subs: B Cassidy for McGrogan (38), M Bradley for McCarron (42 BC), J McAtamney for L McWilliams (53), H McGurk for Cassidy (62)
ARMAGH: C Duffin; J McAlinden, B McCambridge, D Loye; C McGeary, C O’Neill, S McCarthy; J Duffy, C O’Neill; R Magennis, R McQuillan, M Carr; C Turbitt, J Murphy, R O’Neill.
Subs: J Kieran for Murphy (38), N Magennis for R Magennis (42), K McAlinden for Turbitt (50), D Luckie for McAlinden (52).
REFEREE: S Laverty (Antrim).