ULSTER CH'SHIP: Superb second half sees Derry Minors upset Tyrone

Derry minor manager Damian McErlain celebrates after defeating Tyrone.
Derry minor manager Damian McErlain celebrates after defeating Tyrone.

Ulster Minor Football Championship

Derry 0-18, Tyrone 1-14

Derry minor players celebrate after their victory over Tyrone.

Derry minor players celebrate after their victory over Tyrone.

Derry progressed to an Ulster Minor semi-final meeting with Antrim after a superb second half display saw them defeat League champions Tyrone by a point in an absorbing minor Quarter-final in Celtic Park.

Oak Leaf midfielder Oisin McWilliams was the star of the show as the home side recovered from a three point half-time deficit to ease through despite PT Cunningham's late penalty bringing the game back to the minimum.

It was an entertaining first half in which both teams had spells on dominance with three injury time points giving Tyrone an interval lead that looked unlikely for most of the half as two evenly matched teams went toe-to-toe.

Darragh Canavan, son of Tyrone great Peter, was the instigator in chief of that half-time lead and looked lively throughout against an excellent Derry full-back line in which Conor McCluskey was superb.

Canavan got the scoreboard moving with an early free but it was quickly cancelled out by Patrick Quigg and that exchange set the tone.

Tyrone had hit four wides inside the opening six minutes and it looked like being costly as Derry moved into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead thanks to points from the impressive Oisin McWilliams and Alex Doherty.

At that stage Derry had scored with every shot they had hit but they too started to show some nerves in front of the posts and Tyrone were level thanks to PT Cunningham and Matthew McGuigan.

And that was the cue for Tyrone to take over again, their hard running, off-the-shoulder game forging a 0-6 to 0-3 lead as the visitors made it five successive points with Peter Pg McCartan, Jude Campbell and Daniel Millar ensuring all six Red hand forward had scored in the opening 21 minutes.

Derry's turn next and within seven minutes the Oak Leafers were level again as Declan Cassidy, McWilliams and Jon Paul Devlin found their range but the home side were also guilty of over complicating things at times and it cost them scores.

Six points a-piece would have been a fair reflection on the opening 30-odd minutes but Canavan had other ideas. After Cunningham had split the posts, the corner forward gave Tyrone a two point lead before fashioning a superb individual fisted effort that could have brought a goal but he was content to send his side in three points up.

If that late barrage had shaken Derry, they didn't show it upon the restart with the brilliant Oisin McWilliams central as Derry levelled the game inside eight minutes.

Two McWilliams scores, one s sublime long range effort, was added to by a Richie Mullan score and when Quigg then hit a free Derry were level at 0-10 to 0-10.

The pendulum swung once more with Tyrone stemming the flow thanks to scores from Campbell and Ruairi Gormley but Gormley effort could have been more had Derry keep er Oran Harton not produced a superb save from his intial effort.

Despite regaining the lead, Tyrone were looking tired and Derry reasserted their authority through substitute Lorcan McWilliams, Padraig McGrogan and Quigg.

Tyrone's hopes were dealt another blow when corner-back Peadar Mullan picked up a second booking and was dismissed with nine minutes left.

That red card signalled ther end of the visitors hopes as Damin McErlain's team turned the screwed with Loracan McWilliams showing he wasn't prepared to play second fiddle to his two brother Oisin.

Two points from Lorcan , either side of a score from Richie Mullan, had Derry four points up and on their way to an semi-final meeting with Antrim.

Fergal Mortimer and Adam Connolly traded points but by now it was academic, even is Mortimer was black carded seconds after his score. There was late drama when a Derry back was adjudged to have touch the ball on the ground and Cunningham slammed the resulting penalty low under Harton but it was too late to matter.

With two Ulster minor finals in the last two years, Derry are up and running again and few would bet against a third appearance in succession.

Derry: Oran Hartin; Conor McCluskey, Oran McGill, Sean McKeever; Conleth McShane, Padraig McGrogan (0-1), Simon McErlain (0-1); Oisin McWilliams (0-4, 1 forty-five), Dara Rafferty; Patrick Quigg (0-3, 2f), Declan Cassidy (0-1), Jon Paul Devlin (0-1); Richie Mullan (0-2), Alex Doherty, Cormac Murphy.

(Subs) Lorcan McWilliams for R Mullan, 21mins (B/S: reversed 28mins); Ben McCarron for A Doherty, 30mins; Lorcan McWilliams (0-3, 2f) for C Murphy, 30mins; Martin Bradley for S McKeever, H/T; Mark McGrogan for JP Devlin, 44mins; Fergal Mortimer (0-1) for D Cassidy, 44mins; Tiarnan Walsh for F Mortimer (Clac k Card) 59mins;

Tyrone: Lorcan Quinn, Ciaran Brenn, Antoin Fox Peadar Mullan; Damian McGuigan, Conall Grimes, Conall Devlin; Brian McNulty (0-1), Ruairi Gormley; Matthew McGuigan (0-1), Peter Og McCartan (0-1), Daniel Millar (0-1); Jude Campebll (0-1), PT Cunningham (1-2, 1 pen), Darragh Canavan (0-3).

(Subs) Adam Connolly (0-1) for R Gormely, 48mins; Conor Quinn for J Campbell, 51mins;Oran Mallon (0-1) for B McNulty, 55mins; Oran Sludden for M McGuigan, 58mins;

Referee: Conor Dourneen (Cavan)