DERRY have qualified for their first Ulster final since 2011 after causing a second seismic upset.
Just two weeks after Tyrone’s destruction at Omagh, Rory Gallagher’s side defeated Monaghan at Armagh’s Athletic Grounds today to be just a game away from a first Ulster title since 1998.
For context, Derry hadn’t won a single match in Ulster for six years before Tyrone won.
Four points were their lead today and saved themselves for the beginning of the second half and were clearly superior to the more experienced Division 1 competition right at the end.
As with Tyrone, they frustrated Monaghan beyond the point of distraction with a highly organized, deep-seated defense and injured her early on with a blistering running game that built on the explosive legs of Gallagher’s young side.
Gareth McKinless scored after 12 minutes. By this point, Monaghan was repeatedly struggling to break through their defense and Derry was 1–2 leading to no goal.
On 25 minutes, Benny Heron scored his first goal – Derry’s second – after goalkeeper Odhran Lynch launched a long ball at Niall Toner, who caught it behind Conor Boyle and found Heron.
That made it 2-3 to 0-2 on a day and as the difficult Monaghan could get away with shots it knocked them to the backfoot.
Shane McGuigan gave the Derry attack a focus, while Conor Glass was once again exceptional in midfield and although Monaghan scored four of the opening five in the second half, three were as close as could be.
Heron’s second goal in the 60th minute released the pressure valve and secured Derry’s place in that year’s Ulster final
Derry: S McGuigan 0-7 (4f, 1m), B Heron 2-0, G McKinless 1-0, Paul Cassidy 0-2, N Toner, N Loughlin, E Bradley 0-1 each.
Monday: C McManus 0-7 (5f), J McCarron 0-4 (3f, 1m), R McAnespie, D Ward, C McCarthy, D Hughes, N Kearns, A Woods 0-1 each.
DERRY: O Lynch; P McGrogan, B Rogers, C McKaigue; McCluskey C, Downey S, Doherty C; C Glass, G McKinless; Cassidy P, Toner N, Doherty E; Heron B, McGuigan S, Loughlin N. Substitutes: E Bradley for Loughlin (42), Padraig Cassidy for Doherty (62), B McCarron for Toner (67), P McNeil for Downey (72), L Murray for Paul Cassidy (75 )
MONAGHAN: R began; K Dufy, C Boyle, R Wylie; R McAnespie, D Ward, C McCarthy; D Hughes, N Kearns; S Carey, K Hughe, M Bannigan; J McCarron, G Mohan, C McManus. Substitutes: A Woods for Carey (33), K O’Connell for Bannigan (33), D Garland for Hughes (56), S Jones for Mohan (62), C Leonard for Boyle (63)
REF: D Gough (meat)
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/gaelic-football/derry-stun-monaghan-to-book-place-in-ulster-final-for-first-time-since-2011-41652266.html Derry stuns Monaghan to book a place in the Ulster final for the first time since 2011