Derry’s minors footballers were knocked out of the 2021 Ulster MFC at the quarter-final stage following a late defeat to Armagh on Wednesday night.
Derry had the best of the proceedings for long parts of the contest at Owenbeg, with corner-forward Niall O’Donnell and wing-back Jack McGroarty impressing in the opening period. Both players dhot two points apiece before the break as the Oak Leafers took a three-point advantage into the interval (0-8 to 0-5).
Ryan McNicholl shot his second point of the game to increase Derry’s advantage to five points early in the second-half, but Armagh suddenly came to life. Playing with the wind they ate into the deficit and with just three minutes left of normal time the sides were locked at 0-10 apiece.
Derry continued to battle strongly against the Orchard attack, but were ultimately undone by Callum O’Neill’s injury-time winner from the right wing, which edged Armagh into a 0-12 to 0-11 lead and proved to be the final score of the game.
Teams and scorers
Derry: Louis Regan, Simon Matthewson, Adam McLaughlin, Danny McDermott, Ronan Walls, Patrick McGurk, Jack McGroarty, Patrick Walls, Felix Kilmartin, Ruairi Forbes, Ryan McNicholl, Rory McGill, Eoin Higgins, Ciaran Chambers, Niall O’Donnell. (Subs) Tiernan O’Connor for E Higgins, 35mins; Luke Diamond for C Chambers, 38mins; Conor Bateson for F Kilmartin, 43mins; John Laverty for R McNicholl, 54mins; James Friel for R Forbes, 54mins
Derry scorers: Ryan McNicholl (0-2, 1f), NIall O’Donell (0-2), Eoin Higgins (0-1, 1f), Jack McGroarty (0-2), Patrick Walls (0-1), Rory McGill (0-1), Ronan Walls (0-1), Conor Bateson (0-1, 1f)
Armagh: Stephen McMullan, Matthew McCaughley, Gareth Murphy, Emmet Magee, Callum O’Neill, Fergal O’Brien, Aidan Cassidy, Tadgh Grimley, MIchael Burnett, Rogan McVeigh, Aaron O’Neill, Brendan O’Hagan, Rhys Stevens, Luke McKeever, Cianan Campbell. (Subs) Bernard Cassidy for A O’Neill, 38mins; Ethan McKenna for R McVeigh, 42mins; Joe McClelland for A Cassidy, 49mins; Ruairi O’Brien for B O’Hagan, 49mins; James Conlon for C Campbell, 57mins;
Armagh scorers: Cianan Campbell (0-2), Rogan McVeigh (0-1), Tadgh Grimley (0-2), Aaron O’Neill (0-1, 1f), Luke McKeever (0-2, 1f), Bernard Cassidy (0-1), Ethan McKenna (0-2, 1f), Callum O’Neill (0-1)
Referee: Michael Moore (Down)