Derry City teenagers book Enda McGuill Cup Final spot

Derry City U19 1, Treaty United U19 0

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 8:13 pm

Derry City U19 booked their place in the Enda McGuill Cup final, as Michael Harris' sublime finish on 94 minutes, saw off Treaty United U19, at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

Under the stewardship of Shaun Holmes, Gerald Boyle and Jim McGuinness the City teenagers had to give their all to secure their place in the showpiece final, where they will face Bohemians U19, later this month, with a toss of the coin to decide the venue and date of the final.

The victory also means that the Candy Stripes youngsters become the first Derry U19 side to book their place in the McGuill Final, since 2015 when the likes of Ciaron Harkin, Ronan Curtis, Georgie Kelly, Patrick McClean, Conor McDermott and Aidan McCauley suffered a narrow loss to Greg Sloggett's UCD side.

City had a glorious chance to take the lead on 19 minutes as Gerard Storey's teasing right wing cross found Patrick Ferry at the back post, but the striker's header was off target.

Minutes later Mark McFadden went close himself, as he latched onto a miss placed pass on the edge of the box, but with his weaker left foot, his drive flashed just wide.

On 25 minutes Tiernan McKinney was very unlucky not to break the deadlock for the home side, as his well hit 20 yard drive, was superbly turned over the bar by a diving Adam Gallagher

Moments later Treaty's Ben Coleman got in behind the Derry defence, but his close range toe-poke effort was saved by Raudhan McKenna.

Derry City match winner Michael Harris holds off Treaty United's Cian Lynch. Picture by George Sweeney

The visitors continued to grow into the semi-final tie and just after the half-hour mark they went close again, but this time striker Sean Oyiro's low shot was saved by McKenna.

Soon after Orrin McLaughlin, who was pulling the strings in the Derry midfield, was unlucky himself as his curling strike, was saved by the United keeper.

Right on the stroke half-time Derry missed a clear cut chance when McFadden blasted wide from 12 yards, after Gallagher could only parry away Harris' initial angled drive.

Early in the second half City goalkeeper McKenna was called into action when he did well to tip over Callum McNamara's powerful pile driver.

After coming off the bench on 55 minutes, Evan McLaughlin didn't take long to get into the tie, as his superb left footed strike was kept out by a full stretched Gallagher.

United substitute Fionn Doherty was inches away from giving his side the lead on 76 minutes when with virtually his first touch, his 25 yard drive was turned around his right hand post by a diving McKenna.

Storey went close soon after but his long range strike, after Evan McLaughlin had teed him up, was comfortably gathered by Gallagher.

Deep into stoppage time Ferry should have won the tie for the home side but after ghosting in at the back post and with the goal at his mercy, he headed over from close range.

However Derry did book their final place in the closing stages when Evan McLaughlin's inch perfect through ball released Harris and he made no mistake firing high into the roof of the net with his weaker left foot.

Derry City U19: Raudhan McKenna, Gerard Storey, Mattie Walker, Dean Corrigan, Shaun McDermott, Orrin McLaughlin, Mark McFadden, Liam Mullen (Caolan McLaughlin 69), Patrick Ferry, Michael Harris, Tiernan McKinney (Evan McLaughlin 55).

Treaty United U19: Adam Gallagher, Ronan Geary, Riain O'Connell, Scott Kirkland, Cian Lynch, Callum McNamara, Jonathan Moran (Fionn Doherty 75), Ben Coleman, Sean Oyiro, Josh Quinlivan, Joey Rushe (Adam Fitzpatrick 61).

Referee: Michael Connolly.