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Cork's Steven Sherlock and Derry's Conor Glass. Evan Treacy/INPHO

Derry march into All-Ireland semi-final as they prove too strong for Cork

Conor Doherty’s goal helped the Ulster champions advance.

Derry 1-12

Cork 1-8

FOR THE SECOND successive year Derry booked their All-Ireland semi-final spot at the expense of Munster opponents.

Where they blitzed Clare last summer with a free-wheeling display defined by spectacular goals, this afternoon was more of a grind as they wore down Cork. The victory was certainly merited, the Ulster champions played with the greater authority and dictated the terms of the contest to hold off John Cleary’s side by four points.

It was a contest that failed to get the pulses racing, both teams content to retreat and try  to invite the other to break them down. Emotions briefly spiked in the third quarter with a swift exchange of goals. It was a momentum killer for Cork after they had found the net first through Rory Maguire, that Derry responded instantly to raise a green flag themselves courtesy of Conor Doherty.

Cork’s goal was their best move of the match, 48 minutes in. Mattie Taylor delivered in the probing kick that Conor Corbett gathered, he popped a reverse hand pass in for Maguire, who had charged through from deep, and he cleverly palmed the ball over the advancing Derry netminder Odhran Lynch.

That strike left Cork trailing 0-9 to 1-5 but they were not allowed build on that boost. Derry bouncing back impressively, Conor Doherty demonstrating the poise and skill to evade Cork tackles and roll his shot to the net.

That strike restored Derry’s four-point advantage and they successfully managed the game from there to the final whistle to win by the same margin. That gap at the end could have been greater but for the injury-time penalty miss by Shane McGuigan as Mícheál Aodh Martin did well to get down low and beat away his effort.

cork-make-a-last-attempt-to-score-a-late-goal Cork make a late attempt to find the net. Evan Treacy / INPHO Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Derry were in front 0-6 to 0-5 at the interval after a cagey opening period. They had dictated much of the half with Paul Cassidy and Ethan Doherty both bagging two apiece from play as they went in front by four points after 25 minutes.

But Cork notched the last three points of the half as they battled well to stay in touch at the break. Ruairi Deane, Steven Sherlock, from a ’45, and Kevin O’Donovan all split the posts to cut the gap to the bare minimum.

After a largely forgettable half of football from an entertainment view, it was a highly satisfactory outcome for John Cleary’s side to be still firmly in contention.

shane-mcguigan-shoots-under-pressure-from-matty-taylor Shane McGuigan shoots under pressure from Matty Taylor. John McVitty / INPHO John McVitty / INPHO / INPHO

But Derry didn’t waver. They emerged after half-time and imposed their will on the game once more. Niall Loughlin and Ciarán McFaul popped over nice scores from play, McGuigan nailed a free soon after.

0-9 to 0-5 in front after 45 minutes, the game was in their grasp. Cork sparked the action to life with Maguire’s goal, Derry counteracted that in a telling fashion.

From there the Oak Leaf county successfully plotted a route to the finish line. Brendan Rogers strode forward to land a couple of confidently-struck points, McGuigan chipped in from placed balls. Cork grabbed a few points in response, midfielder Colm O’Callaghan clipping over off his left and the substitute duo of Chris Óg Jones and Eoghan McSweeney both nailed shots as well. 

Derry’s control was clear though, their advancement to the last four stage secured.

conor-glass-celebrates-winning Conor Glass celebrates Derry's victory. Evan Treacy / INPHO Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Scorers for Derry: Shane McGuigan 0-4 (0-4f), Conor Doherty 1-0, Ethan Doherty 0-2, Paul Cassidy 0-2, Brendan Rogers 0-2, Niall Loughlin 0-1, Ciarán McFaul 0-1.

Scorers for Cork: Rory Maguire 1-0, Colm O’Callaghan 0-2, Steven Sherlock 0-2 (0-2 ’45), Eoghan McSweeney 0-1, Kevin O’Donovan 0-1, Ruairi Deane 0-1, Chris Óg Jones 0-1.


1. Odhran Lynch (Magharefelt)

2. Christopher McKaigue (Slaughtneil), 3. Eoin McEvoy (Magherafelt), 4. Conor McCluskey (Magherafelt)

5. Conor Doherty (Newbridge), Gareth McKinless (Ballinderry), 7. Padraig McGrogan (Newbridge)

8. Conor Glass (Glen), 9. Brendan Rogers (Slaughtneil)

18. Niall Toner (Lavey), 11. Paul Cassidy (Bellaghy), 12. Ethan Doherty (Glen)

13. Ciarán McFaul (Glen), 14. Shane McGuigan (Slaughtneil), 15. Niall Loughlin (Greenlough)


  • 10. Benny Heron (Ballinascreen) for Toner (45)
  • 20. Lachlan Murray (Desertmartin) for Loughlin (56)
  • 23. Pádraig Cassidy (Slaughtneil) for McFaul (59)
  • 19. Shea Downey (St Brigid’s) for McEvoy (66)
  • 22. Paul McNeil (Slaughtneil) for Ethan Doherty (73)


1. Míchéal Aodh Martin (Nemo Rangers)

4. Tommy Walsh (Kanturk), 6. Daniel O’Mahony (Knocknagree), 2. Maurice Shanley (Clonakilty), 

5. Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers), 3. Rory Maguire (Castlehaven), 7. Mattie Taylor (Mallow)

8. Colm O’Callaghan (Éire Óg), 9. Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s)

12. Killian O’Hanlon (Kilshannig), 13. Sean Powter (Douglas), 10. Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)

11. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues), 14. Steven Sherlock (St Finbarr’s), 22. Conor Corbett (Clyda Rovers)


  • 15. Eoghan McSweeney (Knocknagree) for O’Hanlon (inj) (39)
  • 21. Chris Óg Jones (Iveleary) for Powter (50)
  • 25. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven) for Sherlock (56)
  • 23. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers) for O’Driscoll (59)
  • 20. Paul Walsh (Kanturk) for Deane (66)

Referee: Joe McQuillan  (Cavan)

Written by Fintan O’Toole and posted on

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