Derry Minors shake off dogged Dublin to set up Kerry semi-final

Derry captain James Sargent hit four points as Derry got the better of Dublin in Breffni Park. (Photo: George Sweeney)Derry captain James Sargent hit four points as Derry got the better of Dublin in Breffni Park. (Photo: George Sweeney)
Derry captain James Sargent hit four points as Derry got the better of Dublin in Breffni Park. (Photo: George Sweeney)
Electric Ireland All Ireland Minor Football Championship Quarter-final

Derry 0-18 Dublin 2-10.

Derry Minors shook off the challenge of a dogged Dublin team in a high quality game at a breezy Breffini Park on Saturday to set up an huge All Ireland semi-final clash with Kerry in two weeks.

Dublin gave Derry plenty of trouble with their long ball game but Derry, a team that’s not easily flustered, kept their cool to score three of the last four points for a victory that should have been easier than it was. This was Derry’s 10th straight victory of the season and the third time they have beaten Dublin in the last eight years.

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With ace forward Ger Dillon only fit enough to start on the bench, Derry brought Drumsurn’s Turlough McHugh into midfield which allowed James Sargent to push on and the move paid dividends as McHugh, Sargent and Eamon Young all hit four points each. Not far behind with three was Dylan Rocks.

In the first half Dublin packed their defence and won a few turnovers. They picked off scores with Derry often having too many players committed to attack. Derry were taking too much out of the ball in the initial period but on the balance of play a one point lead did not reflect their superiority.

The defence got tighter in the last half hour but any time Dublin got through they took their scores. Derry hit half a dozen wides in that period but the tricky wind made it difficult. Keeper Jack McCloy was excellent, his accurate kicks generally finding a pair of Derry hands. Ronan Canavan had another sound game at full back. The half back line pushed forward a bit too much in the first half in the first half but held their ground better in the second with wing men Luke Grant and Dara McGuckin prominent. Captain James Sargent was strong in the middle third with Young, McHugh and Rocks a real handful.

Derry took the game to Dublin from the start and went in front with a Sargent score in the second minute, Rocks adding a second from a Young transfer. Dublin were sitting back and after eight minutes Young made the score 0-3 to no score but a shock was in store as a Dublin counter attack caught Derry and Senan Bolger slipped the ball into the Derry net.

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It took a good save from keeper Jack McCloy to prevent what might have been another Dublin goal but Derry returned to the attack and nudged in front when McHugh popped a Hargan pass over the bar.

Dublin stung by last year’s heavy semi final defeat by Derry soon levelled through the excellent Darach Magee and were briefly went in front from a Rian Doherty free.

After 24 minutes Young cut through to level and followed up with another after good work by Grant. On the half hour Rocks placed Dara McGukin for a two point lead but on the call of time Ryan Ennis left the interval score Derry 0-8, Dublin 1-4.

Derry restored their two point led from a 50m Sargent free and when Derry turned over Dublin, Biggs was on hand to open up a three point lead.

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However, just when Derry looked to be in control they got a shock when a quick free by Doherty found the unmarked Magee and he smashed the ball low to the Derry net to level.

Importantly Derry hit back quickly with two points from Rocks. Dublin replied with a Doherty free before Derry introduced Ger Dillon, their top scorer, and the improving Padraig Haran.

Young was off target with routine free but at the three quarter stage Doherty levelled from a free. Derry hit back quickly with a McHugh point to make the score 0-14 to 2-7.

Doherty set up Ryan Ennis to level and going into the last 10 minutes it looked as if Derry were going to struggle when the impressive Darach Magee put Dublin in a 2-9 to 0-14 lead with eight minutes of normal time remaining.

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However this Derry team doesn’t do panic and were soon level thanks a fine solo point from McHugh. Another Sargent effort proved to be the lead point and it was soon doubled when Grant pushed forward to make the score 0-17 to 2-9.

After several efforts did not go where they were intended Derry went three clear with Sargent sending over. In the last of the three minutes added time a Hugh O’Neill from a free got Dublin’s last score but by that stage Derry had booked their place in the semi final.

Derry scorers: Eamon Young (0-4,1f), James Sargent (0-4, 1f), Turlough McHugh (0-4), Dylan Rocks (0-3), Ruairi Biggs (0-1), Luke Grant (0-1), Dara McGuckin (0-1).

Dublin scorers: Darach Magee (1-3), Senan Bolger (1-1), Rian Doherty (0-3, 3f), Hugh O’Neill (0-1, 1f), Ryan Ennis (0-1) and Finn McGinnis (0-1).

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Derry: Jack McCloy, Padraig O’Kane, Ronan Canavan, Rian Collins, Luke Grant, Cathal O’Mianain, Dara McGuckin, James Sargent, Cathair McBride, Eamon Young Turlough McHugh, Caoimhin Hargan, Chris McCullagh, Ruairi Biggs, Dylan Rocks. Subs Padraig Haran for R Collins, HT; Ger Dillon for C McCullagh, 42mins; Codi Rocks for R Biggs, 42mins; Caomhan McNally for P O’Kane. 54mins.

Dublin: Finn McDonnell, Shane Devane, Finn Costello, Jack O’Keefe, Josh Kennedy, Finn McGinnis, Dara O’Sullivan, Ryan Ennis, Killian Costello, Charlie Loughran, Darach Magee, Paddy Copeland, Senan Bolger, Hugh O’Neill, Rian Doherty. (Subs) Jack McNair for P Copeland, 56mins; F Leydon for R Doherty, 58mins; J Comiskey for S Bolger, 62mins.

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)

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