Monday 23 October 2017

Cassidy and Bradley inspire Oak Leafers to Rackard title

Derry 3-23 Armagh 2-15

Derry captain Oisín McCloskey lifts the Nicky Rackard Cup after the the Nicky Rackard Cup Final match between Armagh and Derry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile
Derry captain Oisín McCloskey lifts the Nicky Rackard Cup after the the Nicky Rackard Cup Final match between Armagh and Derry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile

Nicky Rackard Cup

Derry inflicted a third successive Croke Park final defeat on Ulster rivals Armagh with a resounding victory as they won the Nicky Rackard Cup for a second time.

Second-half goals from Gerald Bradley and Brian Cassidy did the trick for the Oak Leafers as they ended the season on a high.

Tiarnán Nevin of Armagh in action against Brendan Rogers of Derry. Photo: Sportsfile
Tiarnán Nevin of Armagh in action against Brendan Rogers of Derry. Photo: Sportsfile

Alan Grant fired in a seventh-minute goal to get Derry off to a positive start, but they were pegged back by a determined Orchard side that hit four points on the spin to go in front.

Eoin McGuinness contributed a couple of stylish points, with centre-back Nathan Curry also pushing forward to hit the target. But the Derry defence, with Sean Cassidy, Darragh McCloskey and Liam Óg Hinphey in defiant form, closed out their opponents for the remainder of the half.

Grant added three points to his tally, and Bradley added two gems as Collie McGurk's side regained the lead and seized control.

Armagh full-back Artie McGuinness made some vital interventions to prevent further damage, but their attack was struggling for space, and went 15 minutes without a score, until David Carvill converted a free. However, they were soon on the back foot again, and two Brian Cassidy points sent Derry in with a 1-9 to 0-6 interval lead.

Ruairí Convery of Derry scores a point despite the flying hurley of Ciarán Clifford of Armagh. Photo: Sportsfile
Ruairí Convery of Derry scores a point despite the flying hurley of Ciarán Clifford of Armagh. Photo: Sportsfile

Bradley smashed home a second Derry goal less than two minutes after the restart, and the Oaks were well on their way.

They were able to bring in experience, with Ruairi Convery coming off the bench to steer over a handful of scores, and they were 11 points clear by the time Ryan Gaffney booted home an Armagh goal on 55 minutes.

Four minutes later, Cassidy picked his spot for Derry's third goal, and Gaffney's late strike was no more than a consolation.

Scorers - Derry: A Grant 1-5 (0-4f), B Cassidy 1-4, G Bradley 1-3, C McKaigue, B Rogers, R Convery (1f, 1 '65) 0-3 each, C Doherty, K Hinphey 0-1. Armagh: D Carvill 0-7 (6f), R Gaffney 2-0, C Carvill 0-3, E McGuinness 0-2, C Corvan, D Gaffney, N Curry 0-1 each.

Derry: D McDermott; P Turner, S Cassidy, D McCloskey; P Cleary, O McCloskey, L Óg Hinphey; C McAllister, C McKaigue; G Bradley, M McGrath, A Grant; B Rogers, B Cassidy, C Waldron. Subs: K Hinphey for McAllister (22), N Waldron for Turner (h-t), C Doherty for C Waldron (45), R Convery for Grant (45), B Óg McGilligan for Cleary (58).

Armagh: S Doherty; C Clifford, A McGuiness, T Nevin; J Corvan, N Curry, C Devlin; P Gaffney, O Curry; D Carvill, E McGuinness, C Corvan; D McKenna, R Gaffney, C Carvill. Subs: F Bradley for McKenna (30), D Magee for A McGuinness (h-t), D Gaffney for E McGuinness (60) D Bridges for Devlin (62), C Gorman for C Corvan (70).

Referee: S Hynes (Galway).

 

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