Ulster SFC semi-final
Derry 1-21 Monaghan 2-10
By Michael McMullan
ULSTER champions Derry eased their way back to the the Ulster final with a controlled performance against Monaghan.
Rory Gallagher’s side replied to both Monaghan goals and never looked in any danger with 10 different players on the scoresheet.
They had the ball over the bar inside 50 seconds from skipper Conor Glass before Rory Beggan levelled matters.
The Oakleafers then went into a 0-6 to 0-2 lead with scores from Paul Cassidy (2), Shane McGuigan (2) and Ethan Doherty.
Karl O’Connell was Monaghan’s man in the first half and he waltzed through to score a goal in the 18th minute, making the score 0-6 to 1-2.
Derry lifted their game again and Conor McCluskey’s goal cemented their dominance with goalkeeper Lynch also adding a score on the way to a 1-12 to 1-5 interval lead.
Derry opened the scoring with points from McGuigan (free) and McGrogan, with Gareth McKinless starting after being replaced in first half stoppage time.
A 48th goal from Karl Gallagher goal gave Monaghan a glimmer in the game 1-15 to 2-6 after a high ball in from Gary Mohan and Ryan Wylie saw the initial shot off the post.
Conor Glass added a second score to settle Derry as they took control of the game once again with the Farney side hitting three wides in succession.
They needed Beggan to make a smart save at the feet of Niall Toner with Conor Boyle’s point making it 1-16 t0 2-8 after 57 minutes.
Monaghan did add points late on but a late block from Conor Glass denied Sean Jones a third Monaghan goal on a day Ciaran McFaul made his return.
The Oaks will take on the winners of Armagh and Down in next month’s decider.
Derry: Shane McGuigan 0-9 (5f), Conor McCluskey 1-0, Paudi McGrogan 0-2, Paul Cassidy 0-2, Conor Glass 0-2, Ethan Doherty 0-2, Niall Toner 0-1f, Conor Doherty 0-1, Odhran Lynch 0-1, Brendan Rogers 0-1
Monaghan: Karl O’Connell 1-1, Conor McManus 0-3f, Karl Gallagher 1-0, Rory Beggan 0-2f, Kieran Hughes 0-1, Conor Boyle 0-1, Micheal Bannigan 0-1, Stephen O’Hanlon 0-1
Derry: Odhran Lynch; Chrissy McKaigue, Eoin McEvoy, Conor McCluskey; Paudi McGrogan, Conor Doherty, Padraig Cassidy; Conor Glass, Brendan Rogers; Paul Cassidy, Gareth McKinless, Ethan Doherty; Niall Toner, Shane McGuigan, Niall Loughlin
Subs: Benny Heron for G McKinless (INJ 35+3 blood sub, reversed HT), B Heron for Padraig Cassidy (50), Ciaran McFaul for N Loughlin (59), Ben McCarron for P McGrogan (65), Paul McNeill for C McKaigue (70), Lachlan Murray for N Toner (72)
Yellow card: B Rogers (41)
Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Kieran Duffy, Ryan Wylie; Karl O’Connell, Conor McCarthy, Ryan O’Toole; Darren Hughes, Dessie Ward, Killian Lavelle; Stephen O’Hanlon, Micheál Bannigan, Conor Boyle; Karl Gallagher; Jack McCarron, Conor McManus
Subs: Shane Carey for J McCarron (30), Kieran Hughes for D Hughes (INJ 30), Gary Mohan for D Ward (44), Conor Leonard for K Gallagher (62), Sean Jones for R Wylie (65)
Yellow cards: R Wylie (53), K Lavelle (58), R Beggan (69)
Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)