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Derry finish strongly to clinch inaugural EirGrid U20 Ulster championship

Brian Cassidy scored two goals to seal victory for Derry over Armagh.

Derry 2-15

Armagh 0-14

Steven Doherty reports from Clones

TWO SECOND-HALF goals from impact sub Brian Cassidy clinched the inaugural EirGrid U20 Ulster football championship for Derry at Clones this afternoon.

Derry celebrate Derry celebrate their EirGrid U20 Ulster football championship win. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Cassidy found ample support in man-of-the-match Declan Cassidy who hit five points from play over the hour.

Despite week-long doubts over the availability of player personnel, the Armagh XV that eventually did start this game did so brightly, racing into a two-point lead after three minutes.

Ross McQuillan, their brightest star, opened their account before Derry fired back through a brace of Lorcan McWilliams frees.

Free-taker Rian O’Neill’s accuracy kept Armagh’s noses in front before the Oakleaf county first took the lead in the 16th minute through the first of Declan Cassidy’s three first-half points.

With Steelstown’s Ben McCarron also impressing, Derry ran in 0-8 to 0-6 ahead.

Armagh began the second half well and went toe-to-toe with Derry, trailing just 0-11 to 0-10 after the third quarter.

However, Brian Cassidy’s first goal in the 48th minute, clinically finishing from a sublime McWilliams pass, finally gave Mickey Donnelly’s team some breathing space in the ferociously hot Clones air.

Brian Cassidy scores his second goal past goalkeeper Callan Duffin Brian Cassidy scores his second goal. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Six minutes later the same man all but nailed Armagh’s coffin shut when he scored his second goal to stretch the Derry lead to 2-14 to 0-12.

McQuillan continued to take the fight to Derry, finishing with six from play, but his efforts were in vain.

Scorers for Derry: Brian Cassidy 2-2, Declan Cassidy 0-5, Lorcan McWilliams 0-5 (0-4f), B McCarron 0-2, O McWilliams 0-1.

Scorers for Armagh: Ross McQuillan 0-6, Rian O’Neill 0-4 (0-3f), Conor O’Neill 0-2 (0-1f), Jason Duffy 0-2.

Derry:

1. Oran Hartin (Limavady)

2. Sean Mckeever (Dungiven)
3. Dara Rafferty (Drumsurn)
4. Conleth McShane (Bellaghy)

5. Eoghan Concannon (Steelstown)
6. Conor McCluskey (Magherafelt)

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7. Padraig McGrogan (Newbridge)
8. Callum Brown (Limavady)
9. Oisin McWilliams (Swatragh)

10. Conor Doherty (Newbridge)
11. Shea Downey (Lavey)
12. Ben McCarron (Steelstown)

13. Mark McGrogan (Newbridge)
14. Lorcan McWillams (Swatragh)
15. Declan Cassidy (Bellaghy)

Subs:

Brian Cassidy (Slaughtneil) for M McGrogan (38)
Martin Bradley (Ballinascreen) for B McCarron (39)
Jason McAtamney (Swatragh) for L McWilliams (55),
Hugh McGurk for D Cassidy (60)

Armagh:

1. Callan Duffin (Wolf Tones)

2. James McAlinden (Sarsfields)
3. Barry McCambridge (Clann Eireann)
4. Declan Loye (Corrinshego)

5. Cathair McGeary (Collegeland)
6. Conor O’Neill (Killevy)
7. Sean McCarthy (Clann Eireann)

8. Jason Duffy (St Patrick’s)
9. Callum O’Neill (Lorcan O’Toole’s)

10. Ronan Magennis (Killevy)
11. Ross McQuillan (St Patrick’s)
12. Marty Carr (Grangemore)

13. Conor Turbitt (Clann Eireann)
14. Jamie Murphy (Silverbridge)
15. Rian O’Neill (Crossmaglen)

Subs

Ryan Garvey (Culloville) for C McGeary (HT)
Justin Kieran (Grangemore) for J Murphy (39)
N Magennis (Killevy) for R Magennis (42)
Kevin McAlinden (Sarsfields) for C Turbitt (50)
Darren Luck (Cullaville) for J McAlinden (53)

Referee: Sean Laverty (Antrim)

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Steven Doherty

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