When? All-Ireland Minor Football Championship final
When? Sunday September 17, 1995
Wh0? Westmeath 1-10 Derry 0-11
Where? Croke Park
Whistler? Michael; Curley, Galway
GOOD form in the Minor championship has long been a hallmark of Derry’s championship fortunes. So it was, too, in the hazy summer of 1995 when the Oak Leaf county progressed all the way to the All-Ireland Final.
Wins over Armagh, Tyrone and Down in the Ulster championship were consolidated with a 3-7 to 1-12 victory against Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final. This set-up a novel final pairing against Westmeath.
That Derry team in the final and indeed throughout the campaign included a number of players who went on to become household names.
Among them were Paul McFlynn, Johnny McBride, Gary Doyle, Enda Muldoon, Joe Cassidy and Adrian McGuckian. The current minor manager, Damien McErlain was among the subs, while the side was managed by Chris Brown, with future senior manager, Paddy Crozier, as part of the backroom team.
But they were undone by a Westmeath team that included Keith Glennon in the forwards. The Leinster champions entered the tie as underdogs, and this rating appeared to be confirmed when Enda Muldoon got Derry off to an ideal start with a brace of points.
However, their hopes of building on that start were dealt a blow subsequently as Westmeath took control. Thomas Cleary rifled the ball to the net midway through the half and his goal helped them into a 1-4 to 0-4 interval lead.
It was an advantage that they never relinquished. They subsequently extended that lead, before Derry staged a revival which almost brought them victory.
Points from Enda Muldoon, Paul MacFlynn and Joe Cassidy reduced the deficit down to the minimum margin. But it was Westmeath who held firm to win the title for the first time and deny Derry their first Thomas Markham Cup title since 1989.