Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Uladh

Ulster SFC: Convincing win for holders Derry over Fermanagh

April 15th, 2023

Ulster Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final

Derry 3-17 Fermanagh 2-8


Holders Derry got the defence of their Ulster title underway with a comprehensive victory over Fermanagh in Brewster Park.

Rory Gallagher’s Oak Leaf side took control of the contest from the outset and goals from the excellent Shane McGuigan and Paul Cassidy had put them into a commanding 10-point lead by the break.

And although Che Cullen plundered two goals for the home side in the second half, Derry were always in control as they eased to a 12-point win.

In front of 6,928 supporters, Derry started the clash with intent with Eoin McEvoy fisting over the first score of the game after only 46 seconds.

And they quickly followed up with points from Padraig McGrogan, goalkeeper Odhran Lynch and Paul Cassidy to lead 0-4 to 0-0 after six minutes.

Fermanagh landed their opening score through a fine Ryan Jones effort in the 10th minute, but Derry were dominating the ball with Brendan Rodgers driving forward to good effect from the middle of the park.

Conor Glass and Ryan Lyons traded points but Derry took a firm control when they swooped for their first goal in the 12th minute. Ethan Doherty fed the ball into McGuigan who spun Che Cullen before firing beyond Sean McNally in the Erne goal.

Aidan Breen replied with a point for Fermanagh, but McGuigan and Ethan Doherty tagged on points for the away side before Paul Cassidy added a second goal for Derry.

He won possession 50 metres from goal and powered forward and although Lee Cullen knocked the ball out of his hand, the ball broke kindly for him and he tucked it home to make it 2-7 to 0-3.

Fermanagh hit back with points from Ryan Lyons and the lively Ultan Kelm, but McGuigan rounded off the half with two points from play for Derry to make it 2-9 to 0-5.

The sides exchanged points early in the second half through Rodgers and Kelm before Fermanagh bagged their first goal with Che Cullen firing home, but Derry replied instantly as a sweeping move saw McGuigan find Niall Toner who in turn played in Benny Heron and he was adjudged to have been fouled with referee Joe McQuillan awarding the penalty.

McGuigan stepped up and cooly finished to the corner to make it 3-10 to 1-6.

It was three goals in three minutes when Cullen burst through and rattled to the net to cut the deficit back to seven, but Derry answered with five points on the bounce from Conor McCluskey, Padraig Cassidy (2), McGuigan and Toner.

Fermanagh did have late points through a McNally ’45 and captain Declan McCusker but Paul Cassidy and McGuigan rounded off the scoring for the Oak Leaf outfit who will now take on the winner of tomorrow’s clash between Tyrone and Monaghan in the semi finals.

Scorers for Derry: S McGuigan 2-5 (1-0 pen, 2fs), Paul Cassidy 1-2, Padraig Cassidy 0-2, O Lynch 0-1, P McGrogan 0-1, C McCluskey 0-1, C Glass 0-1, B Rodgers 0-1, N Toner 0-1, E Doherty 0-1, E McEvoy 0-1.

Scorers for Fermanagh: C Cullen 2-0, R Lyons 0-2 (2f), U Kelm 0-2, S McNally 0-1 (’45), R Jones 0-1, D McCusker 0-1, A Breen 0-1

Derry: O Lynch; C McKaigue, P McGrogan, C McCluskey; C Doherty, G McKinless; P Cassidy; C Glass, B Rogers; N Toner, P Cassidy, E Doherty; E McEvoy, S McGuigan, N Loughlin.

Subs: B Heron for Glass (40), P McNeil for McEvoy (56), B McCarron for McKaigue (62), L Murray for Loughlin (67), D Cassidy for Toner (70).

Fermanagh: S McNally; L Flanagan, C Cullen, C McManus; J Cassidy, S McGullion, L Cullen; R Jones, B Horan; A Breen, R Lyons, R McCaffrey; U Kelm, D McGurn; J Largo-Elis.

Subs: D McCusker for Breen (HT), C McShea for Horan (HT), C Jones for McManus (53), G Jones for Lyons (62), F O’Brien for Largo-Elis (68).

Referee: Joe McQuillan

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