Derry take early initiative against Down

Niall Loughlan lands crucial goal for home side

 

Ulster Under-21 Football Championship

Derry 2-12
Down 1-11

Derry defeated Down by four points in at Celtic Park. Derry raced to a 1-3 to no score lead with only five minutes on the clock, with four different forwards working the scoreboard – Terrence O’Brien, Niall Loughlan and Neill McNicholl with points and a goal from Niall Toner.

Down fought back and four points from Rory Mason brought them right back into the contest.

Derry scored three of the last four points of the half with O’Brien firing over two scores from distance with the outside of his right boot as Derry ran in 1-8 to 1-5 up at the half-time break.

The opening 15 minutes of the second half was an equally end to end game as the momentum of the match swung from one side to the other until Loughlan’s 44th minute goal proved to be the crucial score of the game.

Frank Dawson’s side were down but far from out and battled back gamely midway through the second half, scoring three consecutive points. Substitute Danny Tallon scored Derry’s insurance point to restore a five-point lead as the game entered injury time.
DERRY: B McKinless; A Hargan, M Sweeney, D Brown; J Bradley, LMcGoldrick, P McElroy (0-1); N McNicholl (0-1), C McAtamney; J Kearney, T O’Brien (0-3), P Cassidy; N Loughlin (1-4, 0-3 frees), C Murphy (0-1), N Toner (1-0). Subs: R McDonnell for Bradley (11 mins, black card), D Tallon (0-1) for Cassidy (45 mins), J Rocks for McElroy (59 mins), D Mullan for Sweeney (59 mins).
DOWN: M Reid; A McDonald, A Beattie, A Fulcher; A Doherty, R Burns, R Wells; C Devlin, J McKinney; M Devlin (0-1), C Foy (0-1), A Magee; P Havern (1-1), R Mason (0-6, four frees), C Gallagher (0-1, 45). Subs: R McAlinden for A Magee (35 mins), S Cochrane for Beattie (42 mins), C Rogers (0-1) for McKinney (42 mins), T Murdock for McDonald (46 mins), K Rice for Gallagher (50 mins).
Referee: Noel Mooney.

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