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Loughlin goal proves crucial to send Derry on their way


Terence O'Brien, Derry

Terence O'Brien, Derry


Terence O'Brien, Derry

Derry led from start to finish to ease past Down in last night's Ulster U-21 FC preliminary round tie in Celtic Park.

A second-half goal from Niall Loughlin was decisive as the Oak Leafers set up a quarter-final tie away to Monaghan next Wednesday.

In a refreshingly entertaining game, both sets of full-forward lines all scored from play by half-time. Derry got off to a dream start and scored an unanswered 1-3 in the opening five minutes, Niall Toner with the goal. Rory Mason opened Down's scoring with a point in the sixth minute before Derry wing-back Jarlath Bradley was black carded.

Pat Havern, who had an early goal disallowed for a push in the back, flicked the ball to the net in 19th minute. Two excellent long-range points from Terence O'Brien gave Derry a 1-8 to 1-5 half-time lead and Loughlin added a second goal after 43 minutes. Down pushed hard with three points in a row but Derry held on.

Scorers - Derry: N Loughlin 1-4 (3f), T O'Brien 0-3, N Toner 1-0, J Kearney, N McNicholl, P McElroy, C Murphy, D Tallon 0-1 each. Down: R Mason 0-6 (4f), P Havern 1-1 (1f), C Foy, C Rodgers. M Devlin 0-1 each, C Gallagher 0-1 ('45').

DERRY - B McKinless; A Hargan, M Sweeney, D Brown; J Bradley, L McGoldrick, P McElroy; N McNicholl, C McAtamney; J Kearney, T O'Brien, P Cassidy; N Loughlin, C Murphy, N Toner. Subs: R McDonnell for Bradley (BC, 11), D Tallon for Cassidy (45), J Rocks for McElroy (58), D Mullan for Sweeney (60).

DOWN - M Reid; A McDonald, A Beattie, A Fulcher; A Doherty, R Burns, R Wells; C Devlin, J McKinney; M Devlin, C Foy, A Magee; P Havern, R Mason, C Gallagher. Subs: R McAlinden for Magee (38), S Cochrane for Beattie (43), C Rodgers for McKinney (43), T Murdock for McDonald (47), K Rice for Gallagher (50). REF -  N Mooney (Cavan)

Irish Independent