Derry launch stunning comeback to overcome Armagh
An amazing second half comeback from Derry saw off the challenge of Armagh in Owenbeg last night as they advanced 5-11 to 2-13.
Two Armagh goals inside 60 seconds had given the Orchardmen a 10 point lead early in the second half, but Derry struck for five goals in the remaining 20 minutes, spearheaded by two from Bellaghy man Paul Cassidy. It had threatened to be so different for the holders, as Conor Turbit ran riot early on to put Armagh in a commanding position.
Derry opened the scoring with points from Ben McCarron and Paul Cassidy before Niall McCorry kicked a monster score off his left to get Armagh off the mark. The next 15 minutes were nip and tuck, with both sides exchanging points.
Armagh had the first clearcut goal chance, but Conor Turbit blasted over when through one on one. At the other end, a poor Armagh kickout led to Derry’s first opportunity at goal, but goalkeeper Conor Larkin redeemed himself with a smart save from Mark McGrogan.
?It was a roller-coaster game for @Doiregaa U20 manager Mickey Donnelly and his squad tonight in Owenbeg – now safely through to another #EirgridGAA Ulster semi final next weekend. ? #Ulster2019 pic.twitter.com/Oz8XUh92dN
— Ulster GAA (@UlsterGAA) June 28, 2019
A long range Turbit free restored Armagh’s lead, but soon after they lost their captain Sean McCarthy to a black card. However Armagh responded well to that setback with Tiernan Kelly and Ciaran Cosgrove giving them a two point advantage.
Derry spurned a number of chances, failing to score for the remainder of the half, as Armagh extended their lead to three at the break, 0-8 to 0-5.
Armagh extended their lead to four early in the second half before the first goal of the game. Oran Hartin made a great save from Cian McConville, but the Armagh forward was quickest to the rebound to poke the ball to the net. And 60 seconds later they extended that lead to double figures when Turbit slid the ball beneath Hartin.
Then came the Derry fightback. Paul Cassidy turned sharply to blast to the Armagh net and in a carbon copy of their opponents, within a minute they had goaled again, this time through Lorcan McWilliams.
Amazingly Derry struck third, with Keelan Friel driving through the heart of the Armagh defence to finish low to the net.
Paul Cassidy equalised for the Oakleaf County and a Lorcan McWilliams free gave them the lead. Points from Turbit and Kelly brought Armagh level again, but the goal spree wasn’t finished yet.
Captain Padraig McGrogan netted number four and Ethan Doherty rounded off the scoring with a fifth in a remarkable game.
Derry now progress to play Fermanagh next weekend.