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Champions Watty Grahams can get New Year off to flying start

By John Campbell

Defending champions Watty Grahams from Glen in Derry have boosted chances of retaining the Danske Bank Ulster Club Minor Football Championship title with a powerhouse display against O’Donovan Rossa Ardboe in the semi-final at Shaw’s Road, Belfast.xza

The holders stormed through to the New Year’s Day decider — against Killeavy — with a facile 2-12 to 0-6 defeat of the Tyrone standard bearers who failed to match the all-round strength of Glen.

As has been the pattern so far, the opposition kept pace with Glen until the closing stages of the opening half but were then hit with a hammer blow that signalled the beginning of the end.

Glen led by 0-4 to 0-1 after 20 minutes but seven minutes later came one of those rapid-running raids by the Oak Leaf boys which ended with left winger Danny Tallon firing in a trademark goal.

That major made it 1-4 to 0-3 at the break.

As in other games, Glen were quick out of the blocks on the restart and fired over four points in six minutes, the first punched by Conor Convery when on his knees in the 31st minute.

From there, the Derry lads dominated the game. Ciarán McFaul and Stephen O’Hara, who both finished with four points, widened the gap to eight.

McFall and O’Hara added further points before Tallon hit the post and sent the rebound to the net to close the door at 2-10 to |0-4 with seven minutes remaining on the clock.

Both sides finished with a brace of points as Enda Gormley ran his Glen bench.

GLEN: Cahir Glass; C McDevitt, R McDonnell, O Hegarty; Conor Glass, C Carville (0-1), C Mulholland; R Dougan, C Gallagher; T Convery, C McFaul (0-4, 4f), S O’Hara (0-4, 2f); P Gunning, C Convery (0-3), D Tallon (2-0). Subs: T Flanagan for T Convery, C McCabe for Tallon (inj), M Doole for McDevitt, J Doherty for Gunning, K McErlean for C Convery (all in the last two minutes).

ARDBOE: C Quinn; D Brady, P Sheeky, E Sheeky; R Sheeky, P O’Neill, C Canavan; A O’Neill, O Devlin; M Lynn, M O’Neill, B Devlin (0-1); D Mulgrew (0-1); M Cassidy (0-4, 4f), K Coney. Subs: M Laverty for Brady (half-time).

Referee: J White (Donegal).

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