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McWilliams rallies 14-man Derry to turn tables on Donegal

Eirgrid Ulster U-20 FC: Derry 0-16 Donegal 2-9

Derry's Jude McAtamney challenges Donegal's Peadar Moran. Photo: Sportsfile
Derry's Jude McAtamney challenges Donegal's Peadar Moran. Photo: Sportsfile

Derry overturned a three-point half-time deficit to defeat favourites Donegal by the minimum at Healy Park in yesterday's quarter-final.

Four points apiece from midfielder Oisin McWilliams and free-taker Jude McAtamney laid the foundations for Derry, who now proceed to the provincial semi-final stage.

Donegal's Jason McGee in action against Derry's Oisin McWilliams. Photo: Sportsfile
Donegal's Jason McGee in action against Derry's Oisin McWilliams. Photo: Sportsfile

Goals from Peadar Mogan and Paddy Dolan handed Donegal a three-point lead at the break. Niall O'Donnell opened the scoring for Donegal, before Derry edged ahead through Declan Cassidy and Lorcan McWilliams. Mogan's goal restored the Tir Chonaill lead, before Derry rallied again through Jude McAtamney, Ben McCarron and Oisin McWilliams.

But just as Derry were beginning to assert themselves, Donegal, again, created and scored a second goal. A brace soon after from Jason McGee stretched the Donegal advantage to 2-5 to 0-6.

The Oakleafers, however, finished the half strongly with points from Callum Brown and a second from McWilliams reducing their deficit to 2-5 to 0-8.

The same man scored the first point of the second half as Derry quickly wiped out their deficit and took a 0-12 to 2-5 lead by the time McWilliams nailed his fourth score from play.

Derry's Sean McKeever tries to shield the ball from Donegal's Enda McCormick. Photo: Sportsfile
Derry's Sean McKeever tries to shield the ball from Donegal's Enda McCormick. Photo: Sportsfile

Points apiece from Enda McCormick and Dolan restored the Donegal lead. But Derry had the bit between their teeth at that stage and restored their advantage through McAtamney and Declan Cassidy.

Derry could even afford to blast a Lorcan McWilliams penalty over the crossbar in the 48th minute and lose Ben McCarron to a second yellow card in the 55th minute as they held on for the tightest of wins.

Scorers - Derry: O McWilliams, J McAtamney (4fs) 0-4 each, B McCarron (1f) 0-3, D Cassidy, L McWilliams (2fs) 0-2 each, C Brown 0-1. Donegal: P Dolan 1-3 (1f), P Mogan 1-0, N O'Donnell (2fs), J McGee (1f) 0-2 each, E McCormick and L Gavigan 0-1 each.

DERRY - O Hartin; S McKeever, D Rafferty, C McShane; J McAtamney, C McCluskey, P McGrogan; C Brown, O McWilliams; C Doherty, S Downey, B McCarron; M McGrogan, L McWilliams, D Cassidy. Subs: E Concannon for C McShane (ht), B Cassidy for M McGrogan (48), M Bradley for D Cassidy (54), E Bradley for L McWilliams (54), H McGurk for O McWilliams (60).

Donegal's Jason McGee of Donegal and Derry's Oisin McWilliams battle for possession. Photo: Sportsfile
Donegal's Jason McGee of Donegal and Derry's Oisin McWilliams battle for possession. Photo: Sportsfile

DONEGAL - E O'Boyle; M Curran, A Deeney, C O'Donnell; P Mogan, O McFadden O Fearraigh; P McEniff, J McGee, L Gavigan; S McDevitt, N O'Donnell, P Dolan; S McGrath, O Gallen, N O Baoill. Subs: E McCormick for S McDevitt (HT), T Govorov for M Curran (41), R Cunningham for O Gallen (50), R Docherty for N O Baoill (58), S Carr for L Gavigan (58).

Ref - A Marron (Monaghan)

Donegal's Peadar Moran. Photo: Sportsfile
Donegal's Peadar Moran. Photo: Sportsfile

Irish Independent

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