McErlain's late goal gives Derry extra edge
Derry 2-14 Monaghan 2-13
A Goal from Johnny McErlain in the 10th minute of extra-time snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for Derry in a pulsating game at Celtic Park.
With the wind at their backs and the league title already secured, Monaghan appeared to be running away with this game in the opening 30 minutes with the impressive Karl Gallagher their creative hub.
But after the interval the Oakleafers excelled and turned over the 0-8 to 0-1 half-time deficit to dramatically take this contest to extra-time through a Dara Mooney point in injury-time. Enda Downey, son of the great Seamus Downey, was pivotal to Derry's revival.
Yet again the momentum took a dramatic sway. Monaghan, big, physical and confident, looked home and hosed when Jordan McGarrell took full advantage of hesitation in the Derry defence to score the first goal of the game in the 42nd minute.
However, Derry manager Paddy Campbell made full use of his bench and those changes made a crucial impact. An Aaron Mulligan goal in the 65th minute dramatically tilted the game back to Seamus McEnaney's side who led by four in the home straight.
However, there would be one last twist, Eoghan Hawe converting a 75th-minute penalty for the Oakleafers after a foot block.
That left Derry two behind with the skies darkening. But up stepped Magherafelt forward McErlain to drill home the winner for Derry.
Scorers - Derry: E Hawe 1-3; S Kearney, E Downey 0-3 each; J McErlain 1-0; C McAteer 0-2; I Donaghy, PJ McAleese, D Mooney 0-1 each. Monaghan: J McGarrell, A Mulligan 1-1 each; K Gallagher, S Jones and J Irwin 0-2 each; L Power, J Wilson, D Swinburne, M Meehan, R Farrelly 0-1 each.
DERRY - A Gillen; R McFall, T Woods, O McLarnon; A Canavan, C Milne, A McCluskey; N Doyle, I Donaghy; J McErlain, E Hawe, E McElhennon; E Doherty, E Downey, C McGuckin. Subs: S Kearney for McCluskey (h-t), PJ McAleese for A Canavan (34), C McAteer for N Doyle (37), D Mooney for E Doherty (46), E Doherty for C McGuckin (59), O McMenimin for McGuckin (72)
MONAGHAN - R Farrelly; R Grimes, J Doogan, S Hanratty; C Flood, B óg Dufaigh, J McGarrell; A Moore, J Wilson; A Mulligan, S Jones, K Gallagher; D Swinburne, L Power, J Irwin. Subs: M Meehan for J Wilson (40), R Hanratty for K Gallagher (45)
REF - K Doherty (Antrim)