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Holders Derry top of the ‘Cass’ as they reach second successive Ulster decider

Ulster U’20 Football Championship Semi-Final

Derry 1-14 Fermanagh 1-11

From Odhrán Crumley in Healy Park

Holders Derry are now one step away from retaining the Ulster u’20 title after overcoming Fermanagh in Healy Park. 

The Oakleafers led by the minimum at the break after their first four scores came from the boot of Lorcan McWilliams in a nip and tuck opening.

Darragh McGurn led the Ernesiders charge as the men in red and white spurned to goal chances first it was Ultan Kelm who denied McWilliams before Cian Newman saved his team.

Bellaghy native, Conleth McShane would kick the final score of the half to give his team a 0-7 to 0-6 lead.

Mickey Donnelly’s men would emerge sharpest from the traps for the second half as Declan Cassidy raced through before firing the ball into the net.

McShane extended the lead to five before McGurn’s free dropped short only to be punched home by Cameron McBrien.

Derry would rally in the closing stages with Cassidy, Fintan Bradley and Alex Doherty pointing.

Three would separate the sides in the final minute of injury time as Colm McNally dropped two placed balls into the square, the latter falling into the arms of Oran Hartin followed by the referee’s whistle signalling the end of the game and euphoria for Derry and anguish for Fermanagh.

The Oakleaf County will now meet the winners of Cavan/Tyrone in next Sunday’s Ulster U’20 Final in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh with a throw in time of 6pm.

Derry: Oran Hartin; Oran McGill, Conor McCluskey, Sean McKeever; Declan Cassidy (1-2), Padraig McGrogan, Fintan Bradley (0-2 2’45); Dara Rafferty, Keelan Friel; Tiarnan McHugh, Conleth McShane (0-3), Simon McErlain; Lorcan McWilliams (0-4 3f), Mark McGrogan, Paul Cassidy (0-2).

Subs: Alex Doherty (0-1) for L McWilliams (HT), Ethan Doherty for T McHugh (39), Eunan Mulholland for P Cassidy (60), Jude McAtamney for C McShane (64).

Fermanagh: Cian Newman; Eoin Shiels, Johnny Cassidy, Fergal Keenan; Ultan Kelm, Josh Largo Ellis (0-1), Ryan Breen; Eoin Beacom, Brandon Horan; Cameron McBrien (1-1), Callum Jones (0-1), Dara McBrien (0-1); Conor Love, Sean Cassidy, Darragh McGurn (0-5 5f).

Subs: Paul Breen (0-1 1f) for U Kelm (31) John Reihill (0-1 1f) for S Cassidy (38), Liam Owens for C Jones (51), Colm McNally for C Love (55), Matthew Dixon for C McBrien (63)

Referee: Niall McKenna (Monaghan)

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