HomeFootballDerry minors dig deep to see off Dublin and set up All-Ireland...

Derry minors dig deep to see off Dublin and set up All-Ireland semi-final with Kerry


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Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football Championship quarter-final: Derry 0-18 Dublin 2-10

REIGNING All-Ireland champions Derry dug deep to see off Dublin and book their semi-final spot against Kerry later this month.

After earlier responding to Dublin’s goals, Derry found themselves backed into another corner when Donach Magee sliced between the posts to the Dub’s back in front in the 52nd minute.

Derry got hands on the ball from the kick-out before Turlough McHugh kicked his fourth point of the day to level matters.

It was Derry’s pressing of Dublin’s kick-out that left the last 10 minutes a scrap they won with three more points without reply from Young, Grant and Sargent. And that was the last momentum change.

“We’re delighted to get over it,” said Damian McErlain of his side’s win, pointing to the “massive amount” of challenges Dublin wheeled out.

“After us going three up, we gave away another goal so it kept them in it. We again showed great composure and character overall to win key balls.

“There were key turnovers and key break balls that at times we really needed to get.

“That enabled us to compose ourselves and go three clear again, 18 points to 2-9 and we saw it out from there.”

Derry began without key forward Ger Dillon who was brought in for the final quarter. In the reshuffle, captain James Sargent started at centre forward with McHugh joining Cathair McBride at midfield.

There was also a return for Padraig O’Kane in defence for the Ulster champions.

The Oaks had huge performances from Eamon Young, McHugh and Sargent who kicked four points each.

Derry can also point to vital possessions won by Padraig Haran and Caoimhin Hargan when the game was on the line across the final eight minutes.

Sargent the scoring with point before Dylan Rocks and Young dissected the posts for a 0-3 to 0-0 Derry lead after seven minutes.

Dublin, who opted to play with the breeze, then hit the net on the next attack.

A long kick-out was hoovered up by Josh Kennedy and the ball ended up with Senan Bolger on the run before finishing his sixth goal of the season.

Derry's James Sargent and Eamon Young at the end of the Electric Ireland GAA Football All - Ireland Minor Championship Quarter Final Between Dublin and Derry at the Kingspan Breffni Cavan on 06-08 2024.
Derry’s James Sargent and Eamon Young at the end of the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football Championship quarter-final Between Dublin and Derry at the Kingspan Breffni Picture: Philip Walsh

McHugh and Donach Magee traded points before Derry got a hold of the game. Sargent pulled a goal chance wide but Grant made two scores for Young as the Ulster champions pushed 0-8 to 1-4 ahead by half-time.

Two Sargent points opened up some daylight before Dublin hit their second goal (0-10 to 2-4). Rían Doherty took a free short to catch Grant napping and Magee buried to the net.

“They had to work it out on the pitch themselves,” McErlain said of the leadership in the group after the Dubs’ second goal.

“That pulled us back in. The tiredness had set in; the sun had got hotter at the mid-point of the day, so the pressure was on the lads.”

McHugh and Rocks added scores for Derry but Dublin’s possession from short kick-outs continued to give them a passage back into the game.

With eight minutes to go, Magee sliced the Dubs into the lead, 2-9 to 0-14, before Derry dug in once again.

Forcing Dublin ‘keeper McDonnell to go long on his restarts, Derry scrapped for the breaks with Sargent and Grant adding scores to book their semi-final against the Kingdom.

“It was an All-Ireland quarter-final against the Dubs like it’s never going to be a handy day out in any shape or form,” McErlain said before looking to their semi-final showdown.

“It’ll be a massive challenge…I know we played Kerry earlier on the year and it was a huge match, so it’s a huge one to look forward to.”

Derry: J McCloy; P O’Kane, R Canavan, R Collins; L Grant (0-1), C Ó Mianáin, D McGuckin (0-1); T McHugh (0-4), C McBride; E Young (0-4), J Sargent (0-4, 0-1 free), C Hargan; C McCullagh, R Biggs (0-1), D Rocks (0-3) Subs: P Haran for R Collins (H-T), G Dillon for C McCullagh (42), C Rocks for R Biggs (42), C McNally for P O’Kane (54)

Yellow cards: C McBride (18), P Haran (40)

Dublin: F McDonnell; S Devane, F Costello, J O’Keefe; J Kennedy, D O’Sullivan, R Ennis (0-1); l McGinnis (0-1), K Costello; C Loughran, D Magee (1-3), P Copeland; S Bolger (1-1), H O’Neill (0-1 free), R Doherty (0-3 frees) Subs: J McNair for P Copeland (56), F Lydon for R Doherty (58), J Comiskey for S Bolger (62)

Referee: M McNally (Monaghan)

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