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Derry hit five goals to cruise past Clare and reach first All-Ireland semi-final since 2004

A semi-final appearance on 9 July awaits for Rory Gallagher’s side.

Derry 5-13

Clare 2-8

THE DERRY 2022 football journey continues, showing no sign of slowing down when free from the local confines of their province.

conor-glass-celebrates-scoring Conor Glass celebrates scoring for Derry. Evan Treacy / INPHO Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

After a memorable and hard-earned Ulster title, Derry moved to the next stage this afternoon and breezed past Clare to advance to a first All-Ireland semi-final since 2004.

A first-half goalscoring spree paved the way for a convincing success. Benny Heron, Conor Glass and Paul Cassidy raised green flags, each of the three strikes a fiercely-hit shot that flew to the roof of the net. They helped manufacture Derry’s nine-point half-time advantage and after retiring with that cushion, they opened the second-half scoring with another blow to the Clare net.

Gareth McKinless ventured forward from deep in the 40th minute and despatched his shot to the top corner in a composed fashion. The pocket of Derry fans in Hill 16 were in full voice throughout the second half, the superb Shane McGuigan rolling home their fifth goal to the net.

Their progression to the semi-final on Saturday 9 July was copper-fastened long before the final whistle. Rory Gallagher will reflect on a win achieved by a surreal scoreline, seven goals registered in the encounter and the tension drained out of this contest long before the finish.

ethan-doherty-with-cian-odea Derry's Ethan Doherty and Clare's Cian O'Dea.

It was a largely miserable day for Clare. There was brief moments of cheers caused by Pearse Lillis hammering in a goal before half-time, the space engineered cleverly by Podge Collins and Ciaran Russell, while Eoin Cleary did brilliantly to prod the ball forward on the ground in the 47th minute and squeeze a shot in past the advancing Odhran Lynch, the ball settling in the far corner of the net.

But on both occasions Clare were left winded by a goal from Derry moments later, Cassidy hitting home in injury-time to round off the first-half scoring and McGuigan bagging the fifth after Cleary’s strike. 

The Clare captain was their attacking star as he contributed 1-5, flighting over some stylish second-half points from play. Yet the damage was done early in this one. Heron and Glass launched those unstoppable finishes for first quarter goals. When Jamie Malone knocked over Clare’s first point from play and their second score of the game in the 30th minute, it left them trailing 2-5 to 0-2.

That deficit was never going to be bridged. Derry poured forward at will in the second half, an array of willing runners alongside the man in possession. In McGuigan they had the game’s classiest forward, finishing with 1-8 and only a single point arrived from a free.

Derry move forward to the last four with rising confidence.

Scorers for Derry: Shane McGuigan 1-8 (0-1f), Conor Glass 1-1, Paul Cassidy 1-1, Benny Heron 1-1, Gareth McKinless 1-0, Conor McCluskey 0-1, Niall Loughlin 0-1 (0-1f).

Scorers for Clare: Eoin Cleary 1-5 (0-2f), Pearse Lillis 1-0, David Tubridy 0-2 (0-2f), Jamie Malone 0-1.


1. Odhran Lynch (Magherafelt)

2. Chrissy McKaigue (Slaughtneil), 3. Brendan Rogers (Slaughtneil), 4. Conor McCluskey (Magherafelt)

5. Conor Doherty (Newbridge), 6. Gareth McKinless (Ballinderry), 7. Padraig McGrogan (Newbridge)

8. Conor Glass (Glen), 12. Ethan Doherty (Glen)

10. Paul Cassidy (Bellaghy), 11. Shea Downey (Lavey), 22. Niall Toner (Lavey)

13. Benny Heron (Ballinascreen), 14. Shane McGuigan (Slaughtneil), 15. Niall Loughlin (Greenlough)


9. Emmett Bradley (Glen) for Heron (48)

21. Lachlan Murray (Desertmartin) for Loughlin (53)

19. Ben McCarron (Steelstown) for Glass (61)

17. Paul McNeill (Slaughtneil) for Downey (65)

23. Declan Cassidy (Bellaghy) for McGuigan (68)


1. Tristan O’Callaghan (St Breckan’s)

2. Manus Doherty (Éire Óg Ennis), 3. Cillian Brennan (Clondegad), 4. Ciaran Rouine (Ennistymon)

5. Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora), 6. Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg Ennis), 7. Jamie Malone (Corofin)

8. Darren O’Neill (Éire Óg Ennis), 9. Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)

10. Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare), 11. Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown-Malbay), 12. Emmett McMahon (Kildysart)

13. Podge Collins (Cratloe), 14. Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry-Ibrickane), 15. Aaron Griffin (Lissycasey)


24. Alan Sweeney (St Breckan’s) for Cillian Rouine (half-time)

23. Brendan Rouine (Ennistymon) for McMahon (43)

25. David Tubridy (Doonbeg) for Griffin (43)

21. Joe McGann (St Breckan’s) for Sexton (53)

18. Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg Ennis) for Collins (53)

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)

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