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Ice-Cool Conor McCarthy inspires Monaghan to victory

Monaghan 0-15 Derry 1-8

By Niall McCoy

An eight-point haul from Conor McCarthy proved decisive as Monaghan turned on the style in the second half to see off 13-man Derry in the Ulster U21 quarter-final last night.

Paul McIver's side had led 1-5 to 0-7 at the break, despite Neil McNicholl's 23rd-minute dismissal, but their next score wouldn't arrive until the 51st minute.

By that stage the game was already over as Monaghan had reeled off eight points without reply. The away team's misery was compounded when Ciaran McFaul received his second yellow card.

After a tame start, the game came to life when McNicholl was sent off, the referee indicating that he had struck out.

By that stage the home side had established a 0-5 to 0-4 lead with Brian Greenan and Fergal McGeough scoring while McCarthy chipped in with three frees.

Fine efforts from Niall Loughlin, McFaul and Conor Murphy, along with a Loughlin free, had kept McIver's side in touch, and they took the lead two minutes after their first red card.

Murphy's free dropped short, but fell to Loughlin, who netted.

A Feargal McMahon free left one between them before Conor Carville and McCarthy exchanged classy points to leave Derry 1-5 to 0-7 ahead at the interval.

The second half was a non-event as four McCarthy points, two scores from McGeough and a brace from Donal Meegan eased the hosts towards the semi-final.

Derry did finish strongly, and after James Kearney's 51st-minute free, they tagged on scores from McFaul and Conor McAtamney - but it was not enough.

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