Derry and Tyrone set for u-20 final showdown


Donegal 0-14 Derry 1-12

By Michael McMullan

A LAST gasp point from impact substitute Ryan McNicholl shot Derry to victory in Ballybofey on Wednesday night.

In an exciting finale that saw Donegal come from three points down to level the game, it was McNicholl who nabbed the winner.

It sets up a final with Tyrone next Wednesday (BOX-IT Athletic Grounds, 7.30pm) in a rematch of the group game between the teams the Red Hands won with late Gavin Potter point.

It was a more controlled Donegal who led by three points before Derry got off the mark.

Luke McGlynn had a chance for goal when he turned over Tommy Rogers but James Murray’s race back put him under enough pressure to force a shot into the ‘keeper.

Donegal defended excellently and forced Derry to carry the ball into contact and hit them on the break.

The home side did well on their kick-outs, winning possession higher up the pitch to speed up their attacking game.

The advanced marks scored by Karl Joseph Molloy and Patrick McElwee was a contrast to Derry being closed out.

Donegal were 0-7 to 0-4 ahead at the break and McGlynn’s fine kick from an acute angle gave them the perfect start to the second half.

Derry then hit with the turning point with Oisin Doherty cutting through the Donegal defence before blasting to the net and they were back in the game.

Fionn McEldowney and Ruairi Forbes drove Derry forward with Donegal missing five chances in the third quarter.

Forbes, McNicholl and Ciaran Chambers hit points as Derry pushed three points ahead, the matter coming after Chambers had a goal chance brilliantly denied by ‘keeper McGowan.

McNicholl pulled goal chance wide that could’ve opened the gap further before a triple substation gave Donegal a fresh impetus.

Cian McMenamin scored with his first touch with Kevin Lynch causing bother as a target man. He won a free McGlynn stroked over and it was a one-point game.

A breakaway with Ryan McNicholl and Niall O’Donnell made a goal chance for Oisin Doherty who saw his rasper come back off the crossbar.

Lynch then kicked Donegal back on level terms and the game looked to be heading for extra time until McNicholl’s winner.

Derry: C Armstrong; F McEldowney, J Murray; R Small; C McGrogan, P McGurk (0-1), C Heron (0-1); T Rogers, D McDermott, R Forbes (0-3); C Spiers (0-1), N O’Donnell, J McGuckian; E Higgins (0-1f), O Doherty (1-2, 2f)
Subs: C Chambers (0-1) for E Higgins (HT), R McNicholl (0-2) for T Rogers (HT)

Donegal: D McGowan; C McCrea, F Roarty; K Magee (0-1); F Coll, O Caulfield, S Martin (0-1); C Reid (0-1), S Ward (0-1 45), E Kelly; C McGinty (0-1), L McGlynn (0-4, 2f), S Carr (0-1); P McElwee (0-1m), KJ Molloy (0-1m)
Subs: N Prendiville for S Ward (50), C McMenamin (0-1) for C Reid (57), K Lynch (0-1) for KJ Molloy (57), D Gallagher for E Kelly (57), L McGee for S Carr (63)

Yellow card: S Martin (48)



Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW