Updated: July 10th, 2023

Derry are All Ireland minor champions

Derry’s minor footballers are All Ireland champions for 2023 following a superb performance in Sunday’s final against Monaghan at the Athletic Grounds.

Game recap

Courtesy of GAA.ie

Derry 1-13 Monaghan 0-9

Derry made it two of the last four All-Ireland MFC titles with a convincing win over Monaghan in Armagh.

The Oak Leaf county never trailed once as they completed a hat-trick of wins over Monaghan in this year’s championship. Monaghan, who were appearing in a first All-Ireland final since 1939, had taken Derry all the way to penalties in the Ulster decider, but it was more straight-forward this time around for Damien McErlain’s side.

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

A superb defensive effort by Derry laid the foundations for a tenth consecutive win, which was confirmed when James Sargent netted the only goal in the 48th minute. Ger Dillon and Conan Higgins hit nine points between them for the winners, while the elusive Johnny McGuckin was central to their attacking play.

Conall Higgins, Ger Dillon, Éamon Young and Cahir Spiers were all on target for Derry during the opening quarter as they built up a four-point lead. Matthew Finn and Max McGinnity kept Monaghan in touch at 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time, but Derry restarted by doubling their lead through Dillon and Higgins. 

Monaghan had plenty of possession in the second half, particularly after Derry lost Spiers to a red card, but they couldn’t convert enough of their chances to make any inroads into their deficit.

Donnchadh Connolly belatedly got one back for Monaghan, only for Oisín Doherty to kick a point before teeing up Sargent to palm to the net. The teams traded points thereafter, with efforts by Finn and McGinnity for Monaghan being cancelled out by Higgins and Dillon.

Both counties can look forward to All-Ireland SFC semi-finals next weekend, but for now it’s Derry who can celebrate another title in a superb season.

Teams and scorers

Scorers for Derry: Ger Dillon 0-6f; Conall Higgins 0-3; James Sargent 1-0; Oisín Doherty 0-2; Cahir Spiers 0-1; Éamon Young 0-1.

Scorers for Monaghan: Matthew Finn 0-4 (1f); Max McGinnity 0-3f; Donnchadh Connolly 0-1; Seán Óg McElwain 0-1.

Derry: Karl Campbell; Fionn McEldowney (Capt.), Finbar Murray, Luke Grant; Cahir Spiers, James Sargent, Odhrán Campbell; Tommy Rogers, Cahal McKaigue; Éamon Young, Johnny McGuckin, Rory Small; Ger Dillon, Conall Higgins, Oisín Doherty.

Subs: Kevin B Mullan for Doherty (49); John Boyle for Higgins (58); Dara McGuckin for Rogers (60).

Monaghan: Jamie Mooney; Donnchadh Connolly, Cian Greenan, Conor Meehan; Tomás Quinn, Jack Lynch, Andrew Stuart; Matthew Carolan (Capt.), Conor Jones; Seán O’Connell, Tommy Mallen, Luke McKenna; Max McGinnity, Seán Óg McElwain, Matthew Finn.

Subs: Caoláin Clerkin for Lynch (inj., 16); Canice Murphy for O’Connell (40); Ethan McCaffrey for Stuart, Max Maguire for Jones (both 49); Jamie McCaughey for McGinnity (60).

Referee: Seán Lonergan (Tipperary)


Post-match reaction