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EirGrid U20: Mayo reach decider

Oisin McLaughlin, Mayo, and Eoghan Concannon, Derry, in action at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada.

Oisin McLaughlin, Mayo, and Eoghan Concannon, Derry, in action at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada.

EirGrid All Ireland Under 20 Football Championship Semi-Final

MAYO 2-14 DERRY 2-11

By Colm Gannon at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada

Mayo booked their spot in the inaugural All Ireland Under 20 final with a three point win over Derry in Carrick-on-Shannon. 

Two injury time points from Tommy Conroy sealed their place at the end of a frantic encounter that saw both sides create a number of goal opportunities over the hour. 

Mayo went in leading by 1-7 to 2-3 at the break at the end of flowing first half that saw three goals scored inside the opening 12 minutes. 

The Connacht champions were the first to rattle the back of the net two minutes in courtesy of Ryan O'Donoghue after being picked out by a great ball by John Cunnane. 

Derry responded through points from Ben McCarron and Conor Doherty, with Ross Egan kicking the first of four points from frees he landed in the first half, before seven minutes had elapsed. 

On the ten minute mark Derry plundered their first goal thanks to some individual brilliance from Callum Brown. He powered his was along the end-line before applying a deft finish under Paddy O’Malley in the Mayo goal to edge Derry into lead for the first time. 

Mayo responded through a Paul Lambert free to tie it up at 1-2 each less than a minute later as the game really exploded into life. 

Two minutes later Derry struck for their second goal after Oisin McWilliams finished following a nice one-two with McCarron. 

Egan and Lorcan McWilliams swapped points before Mayo took control of the rest of the half reeling off four unanswered points to go in leading by a point at the break on a score of 1-7 to 2-3. 

Egan kicked two of those from frees and the other pair were brilliant long range efforts from Oisin McLaughlin and Evan O’Brien. 

Mayo pushed that lead out to two points inside the opening minute of the second half after Conor Diskin robbed the ball from Derry goalkeeper Oran Hartin after a Egan free dropped short. 

Derry pulled themselves level by the 33rd minute thanks to points from the lively Lorcan McWilliams and Ben McCarron. 

With 20 minutes to go they pushed themselves back in front after Mark McGrogan fired over a fine score, but less than a minute later Mayo grabbed their second goal and swung the momentum back in their favour. 

Paul Lambert got in behind the Derry rearguard and was picked out by Egan and his low effort went in despite the best efforts fo Hartin. 

Egan tagged on a free two minutes later to push Mayo three clear, but Derry weren’t done yet and scores from Brian Cassidy and Lorcan McWillams left just the bare minimum between the teams with 14 minutes to go. 

Mayo responded well and points from McLaughlin and sub John Gallagher had them three in front again with ten minutes to go. 

Conor Doherty got in for a goal chance for the Ulster men but his effort was excellently saved and Brown should have rustled the back of the Mayo net for a second time on 22 minutes when he palmed his effort wide from close range. 

In between those misses Lorcan McWilliams closed the gap to two with a pointed free and Mayo picked up the first of two black cards they received when Cathal Horan was sent to the line. 

Six minutes from time it looked like Mayo would get the score they needed to kill off the game when Ryan O’Donoghue was fouled on his way to goal and a penalty was awarded.

The Mayo captain took the kick himself, but his effort was well saved by Hartin going low to his left.

Gallagher did get a point for Mayo not long after to put the lead back out to three, but Derry kept coming back and points from Lorcan McWilliams and Declan Cassidy had just one between the teams a minute into injury time. 

Mayo finished powerfully and the two fisted points from Conroy saw Mayo home and into the final.  

Scorers for Mayo: Ross Egan 0-5 (5fs), Paul Lambert 1-1, Ryan O’Donoghue 1-0, Tommy Conroy 0-2, Oisin McLaughlin 0-2, John Gallagher 0-2, Evan O’Brien 0-1, Conor Diskin 0-1.

Scorers for Derry: Lorcan McWilliams 0-5 (3fs), Oisin McWilliams 1-0, Callum Browne 1-0, Ben McCarron 0-2 (1f), Declan Cassidy 0-1, Conor Doherty 0-1 (45), Shea Downey 0-1, Brian Cassidy 0-1.

MAYO:  Paddy O’Malley; Johnny Maughan, Brian O’Malley, John Cunnane; Paul Lambert, Cathal Horan, Oisin McLaughlin; Evan O’Brien, Jordan Flynn; Nathan Moran, Ryan O’Donoghue, Tommy Conroy; Conor Diskin, Ross Egan, Colm Moran.

Subs: John Gallagher for Conor Diskin, Joe Dawson for Cathal Horan (BC), Sean Og Tighe for Nathan Moran (BC).

DERRY: Oran Hartin; Sean McKeever, Conor McLuskey, Eoghan Concannon; Declan Cassidy, Padraig McGrogan, Marty Bradley; Conor Doherty, Dara Rafferty; Shea Downey, Oisin McWilliams, Mark McGrogan; Lorcan McWilliams, Callum Brown, Ben McCarron. 

Subs: Conleth McShane for Marty Bradley, Brian Cassidy for Mark McGrogan. 

REFEREE: Paul Fallon (Down).