Cork have little answer to Derry in All-Ireland Minor Football quarter-final loss

Beaten Ulster finalists dominated for much of the game to progress to semi-final
Cork have little answer to Derry in All-Ireland Minor Football quarter-final loss

Cork’s Olan O'Donovan tries to shoot past Eoin Scullion of Derry. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Grealy

Cork 0-6 Derry 0-12 

 CORK’S minor football season ended on a disappointing note as they could make little impression against an impressive Derry in an All-Ireland quarter-final at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, on Saturday.

While they scaled the heights against Tipperary and Kerry, second time around, Cork’s display on this occasion was akin to the opening night in Tralee though they kept battling to the bitter end, scoring three points on the spin for a five-point game in stoppage-time.

But, their spirited finish did little to disrupt Derry, who rallied with the closing score from wing-back Shea Birt.

Ed Myers of Cork and Cahair Spiers of Derry shake hands after the game in Portlaoise. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Ed Myers of Cork and Cahair Spiers of Derry shake hands after the game in Portlaoise. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Derry bossed the opening half and Cork could consider fortunate to only trail by three points at the interval.

They were a distant second best to a hungrier and more composed Derry outfit while Cork’s poor use of possession and lack of urgency compounded their problems.

Chambers opened the scoring with a soft free after four minutes and the full-forward added a second a couple of minutes later.

It could have been worse for the Munster champions, whose defence was ripped apart by a brilliant Derry move, but Johnny McGuckian’s goal-bound shot was superbly turned around the post by keeper Josh Woods diving to his right.

Still, Odhran Crozier confidently stroked over the resulting ’45 to stretch Derry’s advantage to three inside nine minutes.

Cork had to wait until the 13th minute to open their account with a fine effort from Olan O’Donovan, but he then missed a kickable free moments later.

Derry hit back to make to 0-4 to 0-1 early in the second quarter as they showed how, creating the space for corner-forward Odhran Murphy to finish impressively.

Cork’s defence came under more pressure and they needed desperate blocks to twice frustrate Eoin Higgins before captain Colm Gillespie offered some encouragement with a super point from distance after 25 minutes.

They couldn’t build on it, however, and Chambers closed out the scoring with Derry’s fifth in the next attack leaving Cork with much to ponder during the break.

And the second-half didn’t begin a whole pile better either, highlighted by stand-in Derry captain, midfielder Ruairi Forbes, spectacularly catching the throw-in before embarking on a solo run through the Cork defence before pointing after just 10 seconds.

Derry’s momentum yielded a seventh score, two minutes later via a Chambers free as Cork had to wait 12 minutes, like at the start, for their first score of the second half.

Bryan Hayes, who had a free strike the outside of a post and veer wide, had better luck next time, finding the range from play for 0-8 to 0-3.

Cork’s Gearoid Daly takes on Eoin Higgins and Odhran Murphy of Derry. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Grealy
Cork’s Gearoid Daly takes on Eoin Higgins and Odhran Murphy of Derry. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Grealy

Derry answered, however, in the style of a side on top of their game, adding a couple of more points in quick succession to consolidate their position.

Higgins curled over a beauty and Murphy’s skill and trickery created the room to make it 0-10 to 0-3 entering the closing quarter and heading for the semi-final.

Cork rallied, to their credit, with a couple of Hayes frees either side of Gillespie’s second point, but it wasn’t enough.

Scorers for Derry: C Chambers 0-4 (0-3 f), O Murphy 0-2, O Crozier 0-2 (0-1 45, 0-1 f), E Higgins 0-2 (0-1 f), S Birt, R Forbes 0-1 each.

Cork: B Hayes 0-3 (0-2 f), C Gillespie 0-2, O O’Donovan 0-1.

DERRY: B O’Connor; F McEldowney, E Scullion, D McDermott; J Murray, O Crozier, S Birt; D McPeake, R Forbes (c); J McGuckian, C Higgins, C Spiers; E Higgins, C Chambers, O Murphy.

Subs: A Donnelly for C Higgins 53, C Downey for Chambers 56, D McGurk for Murray 60+2, C Coyle for Murphy 60+3.

CORK: J Woods (Valley Rovers); M O’Sullivan (Bantry Blues), C Molloy (Nemo Rangers), K McCarthy (Carrigaline); D O’Donovan (Bishopstown), G Daly (Mallow), A Cullinane (Clonakilty); C Geary (Kilshannig), C Gillespie (Aghabullogue, c); M Kelleher (Mallow), E Myers (Naomh Aban), A O’Connell (Kilshannig); B Hayes (Nemo Rangers), G Kearney (Kinsale), O O’Donovan (Ibane Gaels).

Subs: N O’Leary (Douglas) for O’Donovan and A O’Sullivan (Aghabullogue) for Kearney 37, B O’Sullivan (Adrigole) for Geary 43, J Burke (Douglas) for Cullinane 47, D Gough (Clonakity) for Kelleher 51.

Referee: P Maguire (Longford).

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