ULSTER U-20 FC FINAL
Down 2-11 Derry 0-9
By Michael McMullan
A GOAL from Odhrán Murdock with nine minutes to go put Down on their way to an 11th Ulster u-20 on Wednesday night in the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds.
Oisin Savage landed eight points – taking his tally to 2-19 for the competition – in a Man of the Match performance for Conor Laverty’s side.
The sides were level twice in the first quarter before Mark Doherty and Charlie Diamond points turned the screw for a Derry team who settled better.
Diamond took his tally to three as Derry went 0-6 to 0-3 ahead, before a Callum Rodgers point reduced the gap to two at the break.
Ryan Magill didn’t take his place for the second half after aggravating the hamstring he injured in their semi-final win over Monaghan.
Down were level inside four minutes before Derry owned the next six minutes to put them into an accomplished position, leading 0-9 to 0-6 with scores from Matthew Downey (free), Peter McCullagh and Mark Doherty.
Then Down took over, with an unanswered 2-5 tally over the next 25 minutes. Three Savage frees levelled the game for the fifth time as the game ticked into the final quarter.
Everything changed when Jason Morgan’s perfectly flighted ball was fielded by Odhrán Murdock who blasted to the net, putting Down ahead for the first time in the game, 1-9 to 0-9 after 51 minutes.
Down had another goal ruled out for square ball before Jamie Doran’s late 1-1 tally put the icing on the cake.
The win puts Down into an All-Ireland semi-final against Kildare on the weekend of May 6/7 after their extra-time win over Dublin on Tuesday night.
Down: Oisin Savage 0-8 (5f, 1m), Jamie Doran 1-1, Odhrán Murdock 1-1, Callum Rodgers 0-1
Derry: Charlie Diamond 0-3 (2f), Mark Doherty 0-2, Peter McCullagh 0-1, Matthew Downey 0-1f, Jody McDermott 0-1, Niall O’Donnell 0-1
Down: Oisin Treacy; Fiachra McAvoy, Paddy McCarthy, Finn Murdock; Thomas Hardy, Ryan Magill, James Kelly; Odhrán Murdock, Tom McCarroll; Tiernan Ryan, Oran Cunningham, Harry Magill; Oisin Savage, Jason Morgan, Callum Rodgers
Subs: Jamie Doran for T Ryan (23), Cian Cunningham for R Magill (HT), Cormac Greene for T McCarroll (55), Eoin Loughran for O Savage (57), Senan Carr for O Cunningham (59)
Yellow card: F Murdock (47)
Derry: Ben O’Connor; James Murray, Jody McDermott, Lee Brady; Patrick McGurk, Donncha Gilmore, Ruairi Forbes; Dan Higgins, Paddy O’Kane; Peter McCullagh, Charlie Diamond, Mark Doherty; Matthew Downey, Niall O’Donnell, Ruairi Ó Mianáin
Subs: Calum Downey for R Ó Mianáin (44), Sean Deehan for P O’Kane (54), Niall McGonagle for M Doherty (59)
Referee: Pat Clarke (Cavan)