Connors last-gasp strike seals it
Wicklow 1-18 Derry 2-11
A point from Jonathan O'Neill and a goal by sub John Connors in the last five minutes gave Wicklow a dramatic victory at Arklow on Saturday to book their place in the semi-finals.
The home side started well with three early points by Enan Glynn, Tommy Doyle and O'Neill, but the teams were level three times throughout a pulsating contest.
Derry, who were looking for their first win over Wicklow in five meetings, rocked the home side with goals by Brendan Quigley and wing-forward Patrick McCloskey in the first quarter and they led by 2-4 to 0-4 after 23 minutes.
Casey O'Brien's men took time to settle and six points from O'Neill, Andy O'Brien and Geoffrey Bermingham in the second quarter still left them trailing by 2-6 to 0-10 at half-time.
Wicklow dug deep in the second half and the introduction of Wayne O'Gorman and Christy Moorehouse to the attack made a vital difference.
Centre-back Stephen Kelly anchored the home defence after a nervy start and they kept Derry under pressure to the end, forcing those winning scores from full-forward O'Neill and Connors. Derry manager Ger Rogan was livid with some of the decisions of the referee which he described as unfair. "We expected the man in charge to give us a fair shake, but we did not get that," he said.
Man of the match : S Kelly (W'low)
Scorers -- Wicklow: J O'Neill 0-8 (6f, 1 '65), John Connors 1-0, A O'Brien 0-3, C Moorehouse 0-2, T Doyle, E Kearns, G Bermingham, S Kelly, E Glynn 0-1 each. Derry: P Henry 0-9 (7f, 1 '65), P McCloskey, B Quigley 1-0 each, A Grant 0-2.
Wicklow -- J Murphy; Jim Connors, G Keogh, B Cuddihy; J Henderson, S Kelly, G Bermingham; E Kearns, R Keddy; T Doyle, L Kennedy, E Dunne; E Glynn, J O'Neill, A O'Brien. Subs: W O'Gorman for Kennedy, C Moorehouse for Dunne, John Connors for Doyle.
Derry -- O Doherty; J McCloskey, S McNicholl, L Hawkins; R McCloskey, P Kelly, M Warnock; O McCloskey, B Quigley; S McGuigan, L Craig, P McCloskey; P Henry, R Convery, A Grant. Subs: C Convery for McNicholl, S Farren for Craig, S McCullagh for Hawkins, L Hinphey for Grant
Ref -- P Murphy (Carlow).