Rogan urges Derry to raise bar
Derry hurlers saved the county's blushes yesterday when they coasted to a comfortable quarter-final victory over Armagh at the Athletic Grounds.
After the footballers' tame exit to Donegal and a shock defeat for the minor hurlers to Armagh in the curtain-raiser, it was left to the senior hurlers to show some spirit and they duly delivered.
Two goals in either half from Ruairi Convery and Paddy McCloskey ensured the Oak Leafers progressed to a semi-final tie with Down in two weeks' time. They had full-back Conor Quinn sent off for two bookings three minutes from the end, but it was academic.
Derry had a point to prove after their shock Christy Ring Cup defeat to London, and they proved it emphatically.
Yet manager Ger Rogan, who was sent to the stands in the Athletic Grounds with two minutes to go for verbal abuse of referee Garrett Duffy, wanted more. "I'm disappointed to be brutally honest,'' said Rogan.
"We conceded a lot of frees, 1-8 from placed balls I think, which is something we need to look at. I suppose we're happy enough to get over it.'' Ruairi Convery was back in the starting line-up after falling out of favour recently and he showed great leadership. Derry felt there was a weakness in the Armagh full-back line and exploited it to lead by 2-9 to 0-9 at the break.
The home side scored the first point of the match after 10 seconds through Cathal Carvill, but that was the only time they were in front.
Ruairi Convery grabbed the first goal in the fifth minute and McCloskey scored a second just before the interval. Within 20 seconds of the restart, McCloskey found the net again, running from the halfway line and drilling to the far corner. Ruairi Convery added a fourth in the 44th minute, with Ruairi McGrattan netting a consolation goal seven minutes from the end.
Scorers -- Derry: R Convery 2-2, P McCloskey 2-1, O McCloskey, P Henry (2f) 0-3 each, K Hinphey 0-2, A Grant, S Farren, P Cleary 0-1 each. Armagh: D Carvill 0-6 (5f), C Carvill 0-4, R McGrattan 1-1 (1f), P McCormack 0-2 (1f), R Gaffney, J Corvan, F Bradley, M Lennon 0-1 each.
DERRY -- O O'Doherty; S McCullagh, C Quinn, M Warnock; R McCloskey, L Hinphey, C McSorley; O McCloskey, K Hinphey; P Henry, P McCloskey, A Grant; C Convery, R Convery, S Farren Subs: P Cleary for C Convery (52), B Quigley for Farren (65), L Craig for Henry (65), J McCloskey for McSorley (70).
ARMAGH -- S Doherty; P Hughes, C Clifford, J Corvan; K McKernan, N Curry, P Gaffney; R McGrattan, J King; D Carvill, C Carvill, R Gaffney; D Coulter, P McCormack, C Corvan Subs: F Bradley for Coulter (31), M Lennon for D Cavrill (42), R Lewis for C Corvan (62), A Carville for Curry (66).
REF -- G Duffy (Antrim).