All-Ireland Senior Football Championship quarter-final
Derry 5-13 Clare 2-8
By Michael McMullan
DERRY eased their way to a first All-Ireland semi-final since 2014 after hammering five goals past Clare on Saturday at Croke Park.
Shane McGuigan hit 1-8 in a team performance laced with potent runs from all over the pitch from.
After a wasteful opening, Niall Loughlin notched the game first score from a free after six minute before Derry stuck for their first goal.
Ethan Doherty’s pass released Benny Heron who blasted the ball to the net. It was f0llowed by a similar strike for goal for Conor Glass in a rampant Derry performance.
Pearse Lillis hit the Derry net in an answered 1-2 brace before the game changed once again when Paul Cassidy lashed to the top corner of the net to open a 3-6 to 1-3.
Derry didn’t let up and Gareth McKinless added their fourth goal and there was only ever going to be one winner.
Eoin Cleary caught goalkeeper Odhran Lynch out of position to squeeze in a second Clare goal, but it sparked Derry into another response.
A short kick-out let to a Conor McCluskey run up the right wing before he released Shane McGuigan who hammered in a fifth goal.
McGuigan took advantage of possession in space to kick points, with other foot, as Derry ran out easy winners.
They face the winners of Sunday’s clash of Galway and Armagh.
Derry: O Lynch; C McCluskey (0-1), C McKaigue; S Downey; C Doherty, P McGrogan, G McKinless (1-0); C Glass (1-1), B Rogers; Paul Cassidy (1-1), S McGuigan (1-8, 0-1f), E Doherty; B Heron (1-1), N Loughlin (0-1f), N Toner
Subs: Bradley for Heron (48), L Murray for Loughlin (53), B McCarron for Glass (61), P McNeill for Downey (66), D Cassidy for McGuigan (68)
Clare : T O’Callaghan; M Doherty, C Russell, C Rouine; C O’Dea, C Brennan, J Malone (0-1); D O’Neill, C O’Connor; P Lillis (1-0), E Cleary (1-5, 0-2f), E McMahon; P Collins, K Sexton, A Griffin
Subs: A Sweeney for C Rouine (HT), B Rouine for E McMahon (43), D Tubridy (0-2f) for A Griffin (43), J McGann for K Sexton (53), G Cooney for P Collins (53)
REFEREE: Martin McNally (Monaghan).