Thursday 19 April 2018

McGuigan on fire as Derry end 13-year wait for Ulster minor title

Derry 1-11 Cavan 0-11

Niall Smith and his Derry team-mates celebrate their side's victory over Cavan
Niall Smith and his Derry team-mates celebrate their side's victory over Cavan

Orla Bannon

A strong first-half performance was the platform for Derry's Ulster MFC title success at Clones yesterday.

Ulster MFC final

The Oak Leafers led by 1-8 to 0-5 at the break - number 13 Tiarnan Flanagan scoring the decisive match-winning goal in the 28th minute as the county clinched their 13th provincial title at this grade, and a first in 13 years.

Shane McGuigan kicked five points from play, including four in the first half as Derry continued where they'd left off in their surprise semi-final win over hot favourites Donegal.

Cavan wing-back Dillon Raythorne kicked two points from play in the opening three minutes, but it was the only time the Breffni county led in the game.

Derry kicked the next four unanswered scores, two from the impressive McGuigan, and one each from midfielder Patrick Kearney and captain Conor Glass.

Darragh Gannon replied for Cavan with a free but Kearney added a second long-range point for Derry.

McGuigan was on fire up front for Derry. He scored two more left-footed points, one a special score from out near the wing, to help put the Oak Leafers 0-8 to 0-5 ahead as half-time approached.

Derry then added a killer goal just before the break - McGuigan setting up Flanagan whose low shot beat Cavan goalkeeper Fergal O'Rourke at his near post to stretch their lead to 1-8 to 0-5.

They went further ahead when Kearney kicked his third point from play soon after the break.

Derry goalkeeper Callum Mullan-Young then pulled off a smart point-blank save from Cavan midfielder David Brady, who had moved in to full-forward.

Cavan half-time sub Conor Smith kicked two points and Brady nailed a '45' to keep the Breffni challenge alive.

However McGuigan kicked his fifth point from play to settle Derry and though Cavan battled hard in the second half, Derry comfortably closed out the game.

SCORERS - Derry: S McGuigan 0-5, T Flanagan 1-0, P Kearney 0-3, C Glass, B Grant, S Downey 0-1 each. Cavan: D Gannon 0-3 (2f), D Raythorne 0-3, D Brady (0-2, 1f, 1 '45'), C Smith 0-2, T Donohoe 0-1.

DERRY - C Mullan-Young; N Keenan, C McGrogan, C Maunsell; O Duffin, M McEvoy, E Concannon; P Kearney, J Doherty; P Coney, S Downey, C Glass; T Flanagan, B Grant, S McGuigan.

Subs: F Higgins for Grant (37), F Kearney for Flanagan (54), N McAtamney for Coney (58).

CAVAN - F O'Rourke; P O'Reilly, D Monaghan, L Fortune; D Raythrorne, S Fortune, D Wilson; D Brady, C Brady; D Gannon, P Leddy, R O'Neill; D Kennedy, T Donohoe, R Fitzpatrick. Subs: R Clarke for Leddy (HT), C Smith for Fitzpatrick (HT), L Cooper for Fortune (42), S Smith for O'Neill (55), E Cooney for Kennedy (57).

REF - Paul Faloon (Down)

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