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14-man Derry clinch Allianz football league final spot

Mayo and Derry met in the first semi-final in Croke Park today.

Padraig Hughes issues a red card to Fergal Doherty.
Padraig Hughes issues a red card to Fergal Doherty.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Derry 2-15

Mayo 1-16

14-MAN DERRY scored four points in the final four minutes to come from behind to beat Mayo in their Allianz Football League Division 1 semi-final today.

Derry, who played the final 45 minutes of the game with 14 men after Fergal Doherty was shown the line, were trailing by a point on 65 minutes but scores from Emmett Bradley, Enda Lynn and two from Mark Lynch secured the win despite a late pointed free from Andy Moran.

Alan Freeman got the scoring under way with a free after two minutes for Mayo, Aidan O’Shea adding a point of his own from play moments later.

Points from Mark Lynch and Ciaran McFaul drew Derry level at three points apiece after 12 minutes and they had the lead 60 seconds later after Lynch ran from deep before offloading to Emmett McGuckin whose sideways pass found Cailean O’Boyle to score the game’s first goal.

The big talking point of the opening half came after 24 minutes when Derry’s Fergal Doherty clattered into O’Shea long after the midfielder has played Kevin McLoughlin into the game.

Referee Padraig Hughes allowed Mayo play on and, after Mikey Sweeney found Andy Moran, the westerners’ captain found the back to the net. It was then that Hughes returned to the site of the foul to show Doherty his second yellow of the game.

However, two unanswered points from Lynch ensured ensured Derry went into the break with a one point lead; 1-8 to 1-7.

It didn’t take Mayo long to regain the lead though, Freeman and Jason Doherty both pointing within two minutes of the restart.

After O’Boyle tied things up, Mayo scored three unanswered points through Doherty, Freeman and Jason Gibbons — when it looked like he could have scored a maximum — before Derry raised the green flag for the second time; Kevin Johnston finishing after great play from Sean Leo McGoldrick to bring his side level at 2-9 to 1-12 on 50 minutes.

And while Mayo continued to pile on the pressure, Derry never let them out of sight and even with 14-men, finished the stronger to book their place in the Allianz Football League decider.

Subs and scorers to follow…

Derry: Thomas Mallon; Oisín Duffy, Chrissy McKaigue, Dermot McBride; Kevin Johnson, Gerard O’Kane, Sean Leo McGoldrick; Fergal Doherty, Patsy Bradley; Ciarán McFaul, Mark Lynch (C); Enda Lynn;  Benny Heron, Emmett McGuckin, Cailean O’Boyle.

Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; Brendan Harrison, Ger Cafferkey, Shane McHale; Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Donal Vaughan; Aidan O’Shea, Jason Gibbons; Keith Higgins, Andy Moran, Jason Doherty; Kevin McLoughlin, Alan Freeman, Mickey Sweeney.

Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh).

LIVE: Mayo v Derry, Allianz Division 1 football league semi-final

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Steve O'Rourke

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