Cadbury’s Under 21 Football Championships Review

Updated: March 22, 2012

A busy night for under 21s in Connacht, Leinster and Ulster as the 2012 Cadbury’s Under 21 championships progressed with semi-final wins for Roscommon in Connacht, Louth and Dublin in Leinster while in Ulster at the quarter final stage Cavan, Derry, Down and Tyrone moved forward to the semi-finals.


Roscommon 1-11 Mayo 0-10

The pundits had made Mayo favourites for this one but a great performance from Roscommon saw them through at St Brigid’s, Kiltoom thus completing a hat trick of U21 wins over Mayo. They now meet winners of Saturday’s other semi-final between Sligo and Leitrim.

Donal Smith’s goal after 55 minutes proved to be the match winner for the home side but they were deserving winners and had their attack not had so many wides the winning margin would have been greater. Mayo in fact dominated the final quarter of the first half which saw them lead 0-8 to 0-7 at half time.

Smith’s goal apart the Rossies were noticeably the better side after the introduction of substitutes Cathal Shine,
John McManus and Scott Oates.


Louth 0-10 Offaly 0-8

This was very much a game of two halves at Pairc Tailteann with Louth much the better side in the first half when they led 0-6 to 0-1 at the interval. They appeared headed for their first U21 Leinster final since 1981 at that point and though they did achieve that aim in the end, it was pretty close as the Faithfuly County made a great comeback with substitute Peter Cunningham contributing five points.

Had Cunningham’s free on 59 minutes been on target the teams would have been level but it went wide and Brian Berrill made sure of a victory for the Wee County side with a point in time added by referee Barry. And so to the Leinster final and a meeting with Dublin. Louth’s Ruairi Moore was sent to the line after a second yellow just before the final whilstle.

Dublin 4-15 Westmeath 1-9

Dublin led this one eight points to one after only six minutes and looked to be well on their way to the final but they had to stave off a considerable first half challenge from Westmeath which saw the Lakesiders on level terms some 23 minutes later. Dublin could not have got off to a better start with Mark Schutte’s opening goal taking all of 25 seconds. Following a point from O’Conghaile, Dublin went further ahead when Jack McCaffrey got a second goal. 2-2 and 0-0, game over or so we thought!

Westmeath had other ideas and their fight back commenced with points from Sean Daly and Callum McCormack before Kevin Reilly scored a goal following a mistake by Dublin goalie Ryan O’Flaherty.
John Heslin for Westmeath and Ciaran Kilkenny then had two points apiece before the interval to make it 2-5 to 1-6 in Dublin’s favour. The second half was somewhat different though as Dublin pulled away with goals coming from Paul Hudson and Philip Ryan. And so it is a Dublin-Louth Leinster Final.

Cavan 1-11 Armagh 1-5
Derry 3-12 Monaghan 1-3
Down 2-11 Antrim 1-8
Tyrone 0-12 Donegal 0-6

Cavan 1-11 Armagh 1-5

Kevin Tierney’s four first half points helped defending champions Cavan go into the interval with a 0-6 to 0-4
lead over Armagh at Kingspan Breffni Park. Indeed at one stage they led 0-6 to 0-1. At that stage it had seemed that a comfortable Cavan win on on the cards but in the final minutes before half time Armagh fought back with points from Tasker and Donnelly.

Cavan emerged for the second half and substitute Chris Conway who had replaced the injured Reilly after only 4 minutes, notched the all decisive goal from a Tierney pass. 1-8 to 0-4 after 36 minutes and Cavan were well on the way to another Ulster semi-final. To add to Armagh’s woes, Aidan Forker received a straight red and though Tasker did get an Armagh goal Cavan remained on top until the final whistle.Next up Derry on 4 April in the semi-final.

Derry 3-12 Monaghan 1-3
A very one sided game at Celtic Park as Derry, helped by two goals from captain Emmett McGuckian , progressed to the semi-final (where they meet Cavan) with a clear cut 3-12 to 1-3 scoreline. The Oak Leaf county men set the pace from the throw in with points from Heron, Bradley and McGuckian before Monaghan’s first score, a free from Tom Kerr.

Derry led 2-7 to 0-2 at half time, their other goal coming from Fergal Duffin. McGuckian’s 41st minute second goal ended the already slim chances of a Monaghan revival.

Down 2-11 Antrim 1-8

Antrim started off well at Pairc Esler in Newry with a 16th ,minute goal from Hugh McNulty giving them a 1-2 to 0-3 lead but the Mourne men dominated the rest of the and the game was won and lost in a 12 minute spell that included 1-4 from Down without response. A Ross McGarry goal after 26 mins, from a Niall McParland pass enabled the home side to take a 1-7 to 1-3 interval lead.

Down’s second goal came from Donal O’Hare who also notched four points, three from frees. The Mourne men though did lose Conor Gough to two yellows late in the game but despite playing the last 11 minutes with fourteen men it was Down who remained well on top and eased their way to a 4th April semi-final clash with Tyrone

Tyrone 0-12 Donegal 0-8

Tyrone had an easy win over Donegal at Healy Park, Omagh and now meet Down in the semi-final on 4th April. It took the Donegal men some 26 minutes to open their account by which time Tyrone already led 0-8 to 0-2. For the Red Hands, Darren McCurry with five points and Richard Donnelly with two, were in fine scoring form.

Paddy McBrearty (with three points) and Luke Keeney tried hard for the visitors but Tyrone had little difficulty holding on as the final 0-12 to 0-6 tally indicates. Tyrone in fact won somewhat easier than the score might suggest.

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