Heartbreak for Sligo Minors

Heartbreak for minors

Derry 1-13 Sligo 0-15

Sligo’s brave bid to reach a first All-Ireland semi-final in 49 years fell agonisingly short at MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey last Saturday after Derry squeezed past the Yeats County by a single point.

In what was a cracking contest, Sligo will rue the fact that Derry dominated a key 20 minute period after half-time, which saw them establish a three point lead with Richie Mullan’s goal the decisive score.

However, to their credit, Sligo battled hard and clawed their way back to level terms before Patrick Quigg’s late free pushed Derry into the lead once more as time ran out on Sligo’s challenge.

Undoubtedly the star of the show was Curry’s Red Óg Murphy who gave a superb display in kicking 0-11 for Sligo, but David Cummins’ side ultimately came up short on an afternoon when things could have gone either way.

Sligo were excellent for much of the encounter, but especially in the opening half where they built a 0-10 to 0-6 interval lead.

Murphy was in outstanding form at full forward, kicking eight first half points, while Ciaran O’Dowd and Barry Gorman also got in on the scoring act.

Derry were second best throughout the half, but kicked some late scores to leave themselves 0-10 to 0-6 in arrears at the break.

Sligo went 0-11 to 0-6 ahead when Barry Gorman got their second half challenge off to the perfect start, but the next 15 minutes saw Derry take control.

The Ulster side started to gain a better foothold in the middle third, and built on that with a succession of points before Richie Mullan rattled the Sligo net to push Derry into the lead, 1-10 to 0-12.

Two further points left matters at 1-12 to 0-12 and Sligo looked in trouble, but David Cummins’ side showed tremendous fight to claw their way back into proceedings with three unanswered points.

Cian Brett started the Sligo comeback before Murphy hit two terrific points – one of which was a free from 50 metres – to restore parity.

Derry, though, battled back and earned a free which Quigg fired over, but Sligo too had chances in the closing stages with one attempt hitting the post.

Despite a Derry point being chalked off by referee James Molloy, Sligo ran out of time as Derry secured a semi-final spot in a heart-breaking finish to an exciting contest.

Sligo: Alan Davey; Evan Lyons, Brian Cox, James Weir; Karl McKenna, Evan Lavin, Oisin Conlon; Niall Colsh, Barry Gorman (0-2); Roland Anderson, Luke Towey, Ciaran O'Dowd (0-1); Conall Ryan, Red Og Murphy (0-11, 7fs), Cian Brett (0-1). Subs: Oisin Higgins, Conan Marren, Ben Tuohy, Josh Ellis, James Carroll.



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