Conor McCluskey tackles Ross Egan. Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Mayo see off resilient Derry challenge to book All-Ireland U20 football final spot

Goals from Ryan O’Donoghue and Paul Lambert saw Mayo book their place in this year’s EirGrid All-Ireland U20 football final.

Mayo 2-14

Derry 2-11

Colm Gannon reports from Carrick-on-Shannon

MAYO SAW OFF a tough Derry challenge at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada to set themselves up an EirGrid All-Ireland U20 final showdown in three weeks time.

They needed to survive a hectic final few minutes where Derry pushed them right to the pin of their collar before two late fisted points from Tommy Conroy sealed their place in the final

The first half of this game exploded into life with Mayo hitting the first of three goals in the opening half an hour before the second minute had expired.

John Cunnane picked out Ryan O’Donoghue with a perfect pass and the Mayo captain drove the ball low past Oran Hartin.

Ryan O'Donoghue with Oisin McWilliams Tommy Grealy / INPHO Tommy Grealy / INPHO / INPHO

Derry responded through a Ben McCarron free not long after and they cut the gap to just one point on five minutes through a Conor Doherty 45.

Ross Egan pushed the gap back out to two points with the first of his four first half pointed frees in the seventh minute.

Three minutes later Derry rattle the back of the Mayo net for the first time when Callum Brown skinned his man along the end line and slipped it under Paddy O’Malley.

Paul Lambert struck his first point of the day a minute later to level the game up at 1-2 each, but in the 12th minute Derry hammered home their second goal when Oisin McWilliams was played through after a neat one-two with Ben McCarron – to put his side three clear.

Egan and Lorcan McWilliams traded points before Mayo took over for the rest of the half reeling off four points on the bounce, two from Egan dead balls and the others from Oisin McLaughlin and Evan O’Brien to send Mayo in leading 1-7 to 2-3 at the break.

Paul Lambert celebrates Tommy Grealy / INPHO Tommy Grealy / INPHO / INPHO

Mayo doubled their lead inside the opening minute of the second half after Conor Diskin robbed the ball from Derry custodian Oran Hartin after a Egan free dropped short.

The Ulster champions hit back and by the 33rd minute had the game tied thanks to points from the dangerous Lorcan McWilliams and Ben McCarron.

By the three-quarter mark of the contest they found themselves back in front after Mark McGrogan fired over a fine score, however that lead didn’t last long as less than a minute later Mayo grabbed their second goal of the day.

Westport’s Paul Lambert drifted in behind the Derry rearguard and was picked out by full forward Ross Egan and his low shot went in despite the best efforts fo Hartin in the Derry goal.

The Mayo full forward tapped over another free two minutes later to push Mayo three to the good, but Derry weren’t done and they roared back through scores from Brian Cassidy and Lorcan McWillams to leave just the bare minimum between the teams with under a quarter of an hour to go.

Mayo weren’t for moving either and points from McLaughlin and sub John Gallagher had them three in front again with ten minutes to go.

Jordan Flynn with Conleth McShane, Mark McGrogan and Eoghan Concannon Tommy Grealy / INPHO Tommy Grealy / INPHO / INPHO

Conor Doherty got in for a goal chance for the Ulster men but his effort was blocked by O’Malley and Brown should have rattled the back of the Mayo net for a second time with eight minutes left but he flicked his effort wide from close range.

In between those misses Lorcan McWilliams closed the gap to two with a pointed free and Mayo picked up the first of two black cards they received when Cathal Horan was sent to the line.

Six minutes from time it looked like Mayo would get the score they needed to kill off the game when Ryan O’Donoghue was hauled down on his way to goal and a penalty was given to the Connacht men.

O’Donoghue took the kick himself, but his effort was well saved by Hartin who got down low to his left.

Gallagher added a point for Mayo not long after to put the lead back out to three, but Derry kept coming back and points from Lorcan McWilliams and Declan Cassidy had just the slimmest of margins between the teams a minute into injury time.

Mayo kept driving on and the two fisted points from Conroy saw them home and into the final.

Scorers for Mayo: Ross Egan (0-5, 5f), Paul Lambert (1-1), Ryan O’Donoghue (1-0), Tommy Conroy (0-2), Oisin McLaughlin (0-2), John Gallagher (0-2), Evan O’Brien (0-1), Conor Diskin (0-1)

Scorers for Derry: Lorcan McWilliams (0-5, 3f), Oisin McWilliams (1-0), Callum Browne (1-0), Ben McCarron (0-2, 1f), Declan Cassidy (0-1), Conor Doherty (0-1, 1 45), Shea Downey (0-1), Brian Cassidy (0-1)


1. Paddy O’Malley (Westport)

2. Johnny Maughan (Castlebar Mitchels)
3. Brian O’Malley (Westport)
4. John Cunnane (Ballyhaunis)

5. Paul Lambert (Westport)
6. Cathal Horan (Kilmovee Shamrocks)
7. Oisin McLaughlin (Westport)

8. Evan O’Brien (Ballinrobe)
9. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)

10. Nathan Moran (Hollymount-Carramore)
11. Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet)
12. Tommy Conroy (The Neale)

13. Conor Diskin (Claremorris)
14. Ross Egan (Aghamore)
15. Colm Moran (Westport)

Subs: 22. John Gallagher (Mayo Gaels) for Diskin, 20. Joe Dawson (Louisburgh) for Horan (BC), 21. Sean Og Tigue (Aghamore) for Moran (BC)


1. Oran Martin (Leim and Mhadaidh)

2. Sean McKeever (Dun Geimhin)
3. Conor McCluskey (Maichaire Fiolta)
4. Eoghan Concannon (Baile Stil)

5. Declan Cassidy (Baile Eachaidh)
6. Padraig McGrogan (An Droichead Nua)
18. Martin Bradley (Baile na Scrine)

8. Conor Doherty (An Droichead Nua)
9. Dara Rafferty (Droim Sorn)

10. Shea Downey (Leamhaigh)
11. Oisin McWilliams (An Suaitreach)
12. Mark McGrogan (An Droichead Nua)

13. Lorcan McWilliams (An Suaithreach)
14. Callum Brown (Leim an Mhaidaidh)
15. Ben McCarron (Baile Stil)

Subs: 7. Conleth McShane (Baile Eachaidh) for Bradley, 21. Brian Cassidy (Sleacht Neil) for McGrogan.

Referee: Paul Faloon (Down)

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