Saturday 16 December 2017

McIver resigns as penalty controversy derails Derry

Galway 1-11 Derry 0-8

Eoin Bradley, Derry, in action against Liam Silke, left, and Cathal Sweeney, Galway
Eoin Bradley, Derry, in action against Liam Silke, left, and Cathal Sweeney, Galway
Michael Lundy, Galway, in action against Eoin Bradley, Derry
Damien Comer, Galway, in action against Dermot McBride, Derry

Declan Rooney All-Ireland SFC Qualifier

Derry boss Brian McIver resigned as manager after he saw his side exit the football championship after a poor display against Galway last night.

Danny Cummins' goal seven minutes from time wrapped up the win, but McIver was left enraged when referee Conor Lane didn't award Derry a penalty at the other end following a foul by Finian Hanley.

"I have given my life in terms of the GAA. I had to go in to a bunch of players there and thank them for all of their work. I just can't handle refereeing decisions like that any longer. I have had to step down," said a furious McIver.

Galway won't win any beauty contests on this display, but this was a vital win in the development of Kevin Walsh's troops.

Played in a wet and windy Pearse Stadium, handling the ball was nigh on impossible, but Galway qualified for Round 4B where they will play either Sligo, Donegal or Monaghan in two weeks' time. They won't care a hoot about the manner of this victory. It was dour, ugly football from both sides, but Galway were by far the better team, while the return of Shane Walsh late on was a huge boost.

Derry captain, Mark Lynch, surprised many of the 4,600 in attendance by playing against the strong wind when he won the toss, but the bright start his side made showed it was a smart call. Benny Heron's free after six minutes gave them a 0-2 to 0-0 lead before Danny Heavron hooked over a great point.

Gary Sice got Galway on the board in the 11th minute following a tug on Fiontán Ó Curraoin. A turn in Galway's fortunes came when they finally began to break even under the Derry kick-outs and Sice capitalised from placed balls as Galway led by 0-8 to 0-5 at half-time, with Derry centre-back Brendan Rogers black-carded. Galway were far from the finish line though and, when Derry began to gain inroads down the left flank, the gap was soon down to one point.

Sice was involved for the score of the game when his chip freed Gary O'Donnell, but Derry were angered eight minutes from time when O'Boyle was denied a certain penalty.

And their anger was doubled when Liam Silke linked twice with Cummins, who finished to the roof of the net.

Scorers - Galway: G Sice 0-7 (7f), D Cummins 1-0, P Conroy 0-2 (2f) G Bradshaw, G O'Donnell 0-1. Derry: D Heavron 0-3, B Heron 0-2 (2f), E Bradley, C O'Boyle, N Forrester 0-1.

Galway: B O'Donoghue; C Sweeney, F Hanley, J Duane; G Bradshaw, G O'Donnell, L Silke; F Ó Curraoin, T Flynn; G Sice, P Conroy, M Lundy; P Óg Ó Gríofa, D Comer, D Cummins. Subs: P Sweeney for Ó Gríofa (47), S Walsh for Conroy (65), S Denvir for Lundy (69), A Varley for Comer (69), M Martin for Cummins (70 BC).

Derry: T Mallon; O Duffy, D McBride, B Rogers; SL McGoldrick, C McKaigue, L McGoldrick; N Holly, F Doherty; B Heron, M Lynch, E Lynn; D Heavron, C O'Boyle, E Bradley. Subs: K McKaigue for B Rogers (30, BC), E McGuckin for Lynch (h-t), M McIver for L McGoldrick (53), P Bradley for N Holly (53), N Forrester for Lynn (61).

Referee: C Lane (Cork)

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