Derry hold nerve to win penalty shoot-out against Monaghan and secure Ulster minor crown

Just like the senior final, the match was decided on penalties at the Athletic Grounds

Ulster MFC Final: Derry 1-15 Monaghan 3-9 (aet; Derry win 4-2 on pens)

Derry goalkeeper Jack McCloy was the hero with two brilliant saves as his side lifted the Ulster MFC crown in a penalty shoot-out at the Athletic Grounds on Sunday night.

An epic final could not be decided by extra-time, but the Oak Leafers held their nerve for Conall Higgins to net the winning spot kick.

Tommy Mallen tore through the heart of the Derry defence for a goal after just 90 seconds, but the sides were level by the sixth minute when Conall Higgins converted his second free.


And they went in front with a wonderful team goal, finished to the net by Johnny McGuckin on 10 minutes.

Forcing turnovers to maintain the pressure while playing into the wind, Derry went four clear at the end of the opening quarter through Higgins, before Monaghan closed the gap to two with scores from corner back Ethan McCaffrey and Conor Jones.

But McGuckin sent his side in with a 1-7 to 1-4 interval advantage, before Monaghan pulled back goals through sub Sean Óg McElwain and Conor Jones.

And they tied it up with stoppage-time scores from Max Maguire and Matthew Finn, 1-13 to 3-7 at the full-time whistle.

They were level midway through extra-time, and Derry needed a late leveller from Higgins, who also netted the winning penalty.

DERRY: K McCloy; R Small, F Murray, L Grant; C Spiers (0-1), F McEldowney, O Campbell; T Rogers (0-1), J Sargent; E Young (0-2, one 45), G Dillon (0-4, three frees), J McGuckin (1-1); J Boyle, C Higgins (0-5, three frees), O Doherty (0-1).

Subs: C McKaigue for Rogers (41 mins), D McGonigle for Boyle (55), D McGuckin for Campbell (60 +5), D McNamee for Young (71)

MONAGHAN: J Mooney (0-1); E McCaffrey (0-1), C Greenan, C Meehan; A Stuart, D Connolly, J Lynch; M Carolan, C Jones (1-1); T Mallen (1-1, one free), M McGinnity (0-2, two frees), C Murphy; T Quinn, M Finn (0-1), L McKenna (0-1).

Subs: S Óg McElwain (1-0) for Quinn (33 mins), L O’Neill for Doherty (45), M Maguire (0-1) for McCaffrey (47), C Clerkin for Meehan (49), J McCrystal for McGinnity (51), J McCaughey for Murphy (60), O Maher for Stuart (61), J Wright for Connolly (70), McGinnity for McCrystal (73), T Doherty for McElwain (78)

Referee: M Loughran (Tyrone).