EirGrid Ulster Under 20 Football Final
Down 2-11 Derry 0-9
Down are Ulster 20 champions after a smash and grab win over a shell-shocked Derry in the Box-It Athletic Grounds.
Late goals from Odhran Murdock and substitute Jamie Doran blew the Oak Leafers sealed victory. Man of the Match Oisin Savage finished the game top scorer with 0-8 and he was unlucky not to bag a goal.
Derry had the wind to backs at the break but led 0-6 to 0-4. The lively Charlie Diamond scored three points for Derry, but he was well-marked by Callum Rodgers who also pointed in the opening half. Jody McDermott and Mark Doherty were also on target for Derry, while Down’s scores came from midfielder Murdoch and the busy Savage.
In the second half, Down played much more direct and frees from Savage pulled them back onto the game, but Derry were moving the ball at pace too and Matthew Downey, Peter McCullagh and Doherty picking off points they were looking good.
Then came the final flurry and Murdock caught Rodgers’ long delivery at the edge of the square before lashing into the net to give Down the lead for the first time with 50-minutes played.
Savage kept the scoreboard ticking over as Derry had no answer and three minutes from time it was Murdoch’s turn to be provider as he won possession at the edge of the square and fed a quick pass to Doran who finished home from close range.
So Down outscored Derry 2-7 to 0-3 in the second half and Conor Laverty’s young team face Kildare in the All-Ireland semi-final on Saturday, May 6.
Scorers for Down: Oisin Savae 0-8 (5fs, 1m), Jamie Doran and Odhran Murdock 1-1 each, Callum Rodgers 0-1.
Scorers for Derry: Charlie Diamond 0-3 (2fs), Mark Doherty 0-2, Jody McDermott, Peter McCullagh, Niall O’Donnell, and Matthew Downey (f) 0-1 each.
Down: Oisin Treacy, Fiachra McEvoy, Paddy McCarthy, Finn Murdock, Thomas Hardy, Ryan Magill, James Kelly, Odhran Murdock, Tom McCarroll, Tiarnan Ryan, Oran Cunningham, Harry Magill, Oisin Savage, Jason Morgan, Callum Rodgers.
Subs: Jamie Doran for Tiarnan Ryan for (22’), Cian Cunningham for Ryan Magill (HT), Cormac Greene for McCarroll (55’), Eoin Loughran for Savage (57’), Senan Carr for O Cunningham (57’).
Derry: Ben O’Connor, James Marty, Jody McDermott, Lee Brady, Patrick McGurk, Donnacha Gilmore, Ruairi Forbes, Dan Higgins, Patrick O’Kane, Peter McCullagh, Charlie Diamond, Mark Doherty, Matthew Downey, Niall O’Donnell, Ruairi O Mainian
Subs: Calum Downey for O Mainin (43’), Sean Deehan for O’Kane (55’), Niall McGonagle for Doherty (57’).
Referee: Pat Clarke (Cavan).