All-Ireland champions Derry see off Armagh to make it back-to-back Ulster titles

Eamon Young and Ger Dillon score five points each as Derry make in five provincial titles in last 10 years

Ulster MFC final: Derry 0-12 Armagh 1-7

All-Ireland champions Derry are back to back Ulster minor football champions following a hard-fought win over a battling Armagh side seeking a first title since 2009.

The Oak Leafers, inspired by sharpshooters Eamon Young and Ger Dillon, who shared a haul of 10 points, held off a late Orchard surge at O’Neills Healy Park in Omagh to earn a fifth provincial title in the last 10 years.

The sides were level on three occasions in the opening quarter, as Young and Dillon traded scores with Eoin Duffy, Seán Woods and Keelan McEntee.

But Armagh grabbed a 20th-minute goal when full forward Duffy, who had kept his side on the attack with a couple of turnovers, hit the net.


Ross Marsden delivered long, and it was midfielder Jack Loughran who provided the final pass for Duffy to rifle his shot past Jack McCloy.

But Derry hit the next five scores, including three during Marsden’s black card absence either side of half-time to take a lead they never lost.

Ahead by a single point at the break (0-7 to 1-3), they pinned their opponents back inside their own half for lengthy spells, before Armagh broke the stranglehold to pull back scores through Aaron Garvey and Fionn Toale, narrowing the deficit to a single point with 10 minutes to play.

The holders had another flourish, with Dillion, Young and Luke Grant all on target as they went four clear, and Ruairí Biggs was denied a goal by Michael Finnegan’s superb save.

Armagh threw everything into attack in the closing stages, but could only manage a couple of Duffy frees. They’ll approach the All-Ireland series in good heart though.

DERRY: J McCloy; C McNally, R Canavan, R Collins; L Grant (0-1), C O Mianain, D McGuckin; J Sargent (0-1), C McBride; E Young (0-5, 0-1f), G Dillon (0-5, 0-3f), C Hargan; C McCullagh, R Biggs, D Rocks.

Subs: P Haran for McNally (42 mins); C Rocks for Hargan (47); T McHugh for McBride (54).

ARMAGH: M Finnegan; T Fox, G O’Rourke, C Wilson; Fergus Toale, S Woods (0-1), D O’Rourke; J Loughran, D O’Callaghan; A Garvey (0-1), J McCooe, K McEntee (0-1); Finn Toale (0-1), E Duffy (1-3, 0-2f), R Marsden.

Subs: L Bellew for Marsden (36 mins); O Gribben for O’Callaghan, S Loughran for Garvey (both 54); P Comiskey for D O’Rourke, C Dunne for Woods (both 61).

Referee: B McMenamin (Cavan).