Derry edge out Kerry to make All-Ireland minor final

Ulster team win by narrowest of margins on mild day in Mullingar

Derry’s Caomhan McNally and Fionnan Ryan of Kerry. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

All-Ireland MFC semi-final: Derry 1-13 Kerry 1-12

Derry edged out Kerry by the narrowest of margins in a very entertaining All-Ireland minor football semi-final in very pleasant conditions in Mullingar.

Kacper Robak was called into action just 70 seconds after the throw-in, the net-minder producing a great double-save from the Derry duo of James Sargent and Ruairí Biggs. A Kingdom counterattack yielded the game’s first score, a fisted point by Michael Horan.

Goals quickly followed at either end, Dylan Rocks (when teed up by Luke Grant) and Eoin O’Flaherty (a flicked effort from close range at the end of a probing delivery by Seán Ó Cuinn) respectively finding the nets to leave Kerry ahead by 1-1 to 1-0 after seven minutes.


The sides were tied at 1-3 each after 19 minutes, but Kerry – aided by a slight wind – scored four unanswered points by the 28th minute via two Gearóid White frees, and one each from play from skipper Ben Murphy and O’Flaherty. Biggs and Sargent had quick-fire goal chances blocked, the second of them resulting in a ‘45′ which team captain Sargent converted on the half-hour mark. Kerry led by 1-7 to 1-4 at the interval.

A brace of points from Eamon Young (the second of them from a free) and another free from Ger Dillon wiped out the deficit within four minutes of the resumption of play. There was never much between the teams and they equally shared six points by the 49th minute, leaving the sides tied at 1-10 each.

A point apiece from Dillon and Young soon nudged Derry ahead. Joey McCarthy (from close range) and Sargent (from 50 metres) traded points from frees, with Aodhan Ó Beaglaoich wrapping up the scoring in the second of three minutes’ added-time. Kerry corner back Ruadhan Donovan was black-carded with time almost up.

Derry: J McCloy; P O’Kane, R Canavan, P Haran; L Grant (0-1), C Ó Mianáin, D McGuckin (0-1); J Sargent (0-4, two frees, one ‘45′), C McBride; E Young (0-4, two frees), T McHugh, C Hargan; G Dillon (0-2, one free), R Biggs, D Rocks (1-0). Subs: C Rocks (0-1) for Biggs (36 mins), C McNally for Haran (38 mins).

Kerry: K Robak; F Ryan, M Lynch, R Donovan; S Ó Cuinn, A Ó Beaglaoich (0-1), G O’Keeffe; B Murphy (0-1), E O’Flaherty (1-1); G White (0-5, four frees), J McCarthy (0-1, free), É Murphy (0-1); J Joy (0-1), R Carroll, M Horan (0-1). Subs: R O’Driscoll for Carroll (44 mins), C Mac Gearailt for É Murphy (52 mins), D Sargent for Ryan (53 mins), D O’Sullivan for Ó Cuinn (59 mins).

Referee: A Coyne (Westmeath).