Sunday 25 August 2019

Niall seals dramatic victory

BGE All-Ireland U-20 'B' HC semi-finals: Down 2-17 Derry 0-22

'Eoghan Cassidy, Sean Kelly and Eoghan O'Kane all helped themselves to a brace apiece as Derry threatened to run away with it' (stock photo)
'Eoghan Cassidy, Sean Kelly and Eoghan O'Kane all helped themselves to a brace apiece as Derry threatened to run away with it' (stock photo)

Independent.ie Sportdesk

Down edged out Derry by a single point in Saturday's All-Ireland U-20 B hurling semi-final at Owenbeg. The Mourne men trailed for most of the game before Niall Fitzsimmons' point in injury time secured a dramatic win.

Derry hit the ground running and were five points up at the break, 0-13 to 1-5. Star man Richie Mullan opened his side's account in their first attack, but by the fifth minute Down, through Stuart Martin and Conor McCrickard, were level at 0-2 apiece.

The hosts scored nine of the next ten points to take a firm grip on proceedings. Eoghan Cassidy, Sean Kelly and Eoghan O'Kane all helped themselves to a brace apiece as Derry threatened to run away with it.

However, a goal from Ronan Costello in the 27th minute handed the Mourne men a lifeline.

Derry stretched their lead again after the restart but Down dragged themselves back into the game, and it was a goal by McCrickard that reignited their recovery.

Stuart Martin hit three second-half points as Down chipped away at the lead. With injury time almost up, Fitzsimmons provided the last-gasp winner.

Scorers - Down: C McCrickard 1-5 (2f); R Costello 1-2; S Martin 0-4; R Blair 0-3 (3f); N McFarland, N Fitzsimmons, T Prenter 0-1 each. Derry: R Mullan 0-7 (3f); E Cassidy, E O'Kane 0-4 each; T McHugh, S Kelly 0-2 each; F Bradley, R Scullion, R McSorley 0-1 each.

Down - C McLarnon, E Kelly, T Murray, A Dorrian, C Smith, R McCrickard, N McFarland, N Fitzsimmons, P Savage, J Hanrahan, R Blair, T Prentor, R Costello, C McCrickard, S Martin. Subs: M McAreey for E Kelly (24), C Watson for J Hanrahan (39), M McKaye for C Smith (43), P Doran for R Blair (44).

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Derry - E Mulholland, D Kelly, M McEldowney, M Bradley, P O'Kane, T Walsh, F Bradley, R Mullan, N Rafferty, E Cassidy, S Kelly, E O'Kane, R Scullion, T McHugh, R McSorley. Subs: J Crawford for N Rafferty (51), J Grant for R McSorley (55), F McGrath for D Kelly, T Rankin for R Scullion (60).

Ref - A Ferguson (Fermanagh).

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