Derry 1-18 Fermanagh 1-10
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Derry cruised past Fermanagh in this Ulster Championship quarter final but did not escape the criticism of manager John Brennan after easing off in the second half.
Derry racked up a 13 point lead at the break but the Oak Leaf’s manager Brennan was furious with his side’s second half showing branding it “rubbish”.
“It was shabby, we let the supporters down and to say I’m disappointed is an understatement”, he said. “We didn’t perform for 70 minutes – I want my team to play for 70 minutes.”
On the day it mattered little as the game was out if sight after four quick scores in the opening stages of the second gave Derry a 16 point lead and put them through to meet either Armagh or Down in the final four.
Eoin Bradley made up for the absence of his All Star brother Paddy with a well taken goal after ten minutes, a quick free kick found Bradley and he turned Michael Jones to score from a tight angle.
Derry rampaged for the remainder of the half with the wind at their backs, nine players had their names on the scoresheet at the break with a series of well taken points as well as four wides.
Mark Lynch, Sean Leo McGoldrick, Bradley, Conleth Gilligan and Enda Muldoon all added points in the opening 15 minutes.
So much was their dominance that three defenders got forward for rare scores, half-backs Charlie Kielt and Gerard O’Kane as well as corner-back Michael Bateson all got in on the act.
Fermanagh’s man of the match Daniel Kille scored his first of five before the break to add to Tomas Corrigan’s opening point.
John Woods made things a bit more respectable for the young Fermanagh side with a goal in the second and though they outscored Derry in the second half they never really threatened to cause any unrest as Derry cruised to a comfortable win.
Derry v Fermanagh, Celtic Park, 3.30pm
70min played Kille’s fifth of the game
69min played Two minutes of added time announced
64min played Gone relatively quiet here in the last ten, still Derry lead by eight
61min played Mulrone adds another for the Ernesiders
59min played The wind is at Fermanagh’s back and it’s telling as they’ve enjoyed the better of it in the second half
56min played McGuickan in for James Kielt, jones scores a point for Fermanagh
53min played Kille scores his fourth of the game
53min played Fermanagh bring Niall Cassidy on for Hugh Brady
52min played Normal service resumes, Gillian with a point for Derry
50min played Kille adds another, Derry haven’t come out for the second half
49min played Fermanagh enjoying a good spell, Chris O’Brien with a point to bring it within ten points
48min played PJ McCloskey comes on for Friel
46min played Ryan Jones takes a point for Fermanagh
44min played Fermanagh wide from a free after Kielt overcarries
42min played Sean Óg McAlery comes on for Enda Muldoon
41min played It was John Woods with the goal for Fermanagh, and Charlie Kille with his second point
Apologies for the breakdown, the Derry scoring was too much for the site. It’s 1-15 to 1-03 with five minutes played in the second half
31min played Bateson joins the party with a point
30min played Fermanagh finally reply, Kille point
29min played O’Kane takes his second point of the game
26min played Diver takes a point for Derry
25min played Another chance for Fermanagh, this time denied by a great save from Devlin
23min played Fermanagh’s Martin O’Brien spurns a great chance for a goal
22min played Seven scorers for Derry in the opening 20 minutes, 1-8 0-1
20min played Kielt makes it 1-8, long afternoon for Fermanagh ahead
19min played Could be worse for Fermanagh, Derry have hit four wide as well
17min played That was some point from Muldoon, from 55 out on sideline 1-7 to 0-1
15min played Muldoon adds another
14min played Derry rampant now, Gilligan adds one and Bradley another 1-6 to 0-1
13min played Mulrone denied Bradley his second goal of the afternoon blocking his shot over for a point
13min played Derry well settled now, Bradley with a point
12min played Another point for Derry, Sean Leo McGoldrick
11min played Derry upping the pressure with a point from Lynch
10min played That was a well taken goal by Bradley, tight angle 1-1 to 0-1 after ten
10min played Goal for Derry
7min played Gerard O’Kane levels for Derry with a fine point.
5min played Fermanagh draw first blood from a Corrigan free kick
3min played Wide for Derry, stand in captain Lynch thinks it’s good but the umpire disagrees
1min played First wide Fermanagh
0min played Eleven debutants in the line-ups today, six for Fermanagh, five for Derry. With the Derry minors going down 1-9 to 0-7 in the minor match earlier this afternoon could we be in for another shock?
0min played Late injury blow for Derry, captain Barry McGoldrick failed a late fitness test and will be replaced by 2004 All Star Enda Muldoon.
0min An injury-hit Derry will be looking to prove their championship credentials against Fermanagh in Sunday’s Ulster quarter-final at Celtic Park on Sunday.
Derry D Devlin; M Bateson, Kevin McCloy, D McBride, G O’Kane, C Kielt, B McGoldrick (c), J Diver, M Friel, M Lynch, C O’Boyle, E McGuckin, S McGoldrick, E Bradley, C Gilligan
Fermanagh J McGrath; J Woods, B Owens (c), M Jones, M O’Brien, H Brady, B Mulrone, K Cosgrove, R Jones, T O’Flanaghan, B Og Maguire, P Ward, T Corrigan, D Kille, S Quigley.
Manager John Brennan described the uncertainty coming into the fixture as a “midfield virus”.
The Boynesiders talisman, forward Paddy Bradley, will miss the season with a cruciate injury but manager John Brennan will also have to cope without Niall Holly, Gerard O’Kane and Fergal Doherty.
Captain Barry McGoldrick was a major doubt but will start while other doubtfuls Kevin McGuckin and Martin Donaghy have been named as substitutes.
Brennan had to send out an SOS to experienced goalkeeper Barry Gillis after Danny Devlin’s cover Michael Conlon was ruled out.
Derry are considered outside favourites for the toughest provincial championship, and though they should comfortably beat Fermanagh, the midfield injuries may prove too much in the subsequent trip to Armagh or Down.
Fermanagh have had a mixed season so far, and head into this game with some selection problems of their own. Manager John O’Neill saw 11 players walk out on the county during the league citing difference of opinion meaning he will have 17 new players in the squad.
O’Neill will give six players their championship debuts on Sunday, including an all new forward line of Brian Og Maguire, Terry O’Flanagan, Tomas Corrigan and Sean Quigley.
Despite the upheaval in the squad O’Neill has pointed to the positives of the league campaign and though he recognises the county’s underdog status going into Sunday’s game he says there is belief in the squad and that the pressure is on Derry.
“Had Fermanagh all its players available on Sunday, we’d still be going in as underdogs.” he said
“All the pressure is loaded onto Derry. They operate two divisions above us in the league. The pressure is on them to produce a performance and get the result”
Despite the loss of former All Star Bradley, Derry are at their strongest for some time and should their midfield shake off its ‘virus’ for the semi-final they will prove a match for Armagh or Down in what is sure to be another strong Ulster Championship.