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Cassidy fires Oakleafers to inaugural Ulster Under 20s title

Derry 2-15 Armagh 0-14

By Steven Doherty

A storming second half from favourites Derry, which included two killer goals from Brian Cassidy, handed the Oak Leaf County the inaugural Ulster Under-20 Championship.

Despite week long doubts over the availability of player personnel, the Armagh XV that eventually did start this game did so brightly, racing to a 0-2 to no score after three minutes. Ross McQuillan, their brightest star, opened their account before Derry fired back through a brace of Lorcan McWilliams frees.

Free-taker Rian O’Neill’s accuracy kept Armagh’s noses in front before the Oak Leafs first took the lead in the 16th minute through the first of Declan Cassidy’s three first half points.

With Steelstown’s Ben McCarron also impressing, Derry ran in 0-8 to 0-6 ahead.

Armagh began the second half well and went toe to toe with Derry, trailing just 0-11 to 0-10 after the third quarter.

However, Brian Cassidy’s first goal in the 48th minute, clinically finishing from a sublime Lorcan McWilliams pass, finally gave Mickey Donnelly’s team some breathing space in the ferociously hot Clones air.

Six minutes later the same man all but nailed Armagh’s coffin shut when he scored his second goal to stretch the Derry lead to 2-14 to 0-12.

Ross McQuillan continued to take the fight to Derry, finishing with six from play, but his efforts were in vain and Derry would not be denied.

Derry scorers: B Cassidy 2-2, D Cassidy 0-5, L McWilliams 0-5 (0-4fs), B McCarron 0-2, O McWilliams 0-1.

Armagh scorers: R McQuillan 0-6, R O’Neill 0-4 (0-3fs), C O’Neill 0-2 (0-1f), J Duffy 0-2.

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