Campbell keeps his sights set on yet another final chapter
Derry minor football boss Paddy Campbell readily acknowledges that the bar has been substantially raised for him in his role.
The Oak Leaf county has reached the last four provincial finals lifting the title in 2015 and 2017 and now, after wins over Armagh and Cavan, Campbell has his sights on a fifth successive final appearance.
"I said at the outset of this championship that there would not be more than a kick of the ball between teams and by and large it is proved the case," said Campbell.
"While we are very happy to have two wins under our belt we know that the going will get even tougher from here on in."
In a hard-earned 0-19 to 1-12 win over Cavan on Saturday night, Matthew Downey proved Derry's hero by scoring a shoal of points while his cousin Enda Downey and PJ McAleese were also prominent. Jack Tully pounced for Cavan's goal while Darryl McGurren helped himself to six points.
And while Derry bid to extend their acquaintance with the Ulster final, Monaghan's ambitions of retaining their title have been boosted following their impressive win over fancied Tyrone at the weekend.
Goals from Kyle Connolly, Darragh Dempsey and Liam McDonald cemented Monaghan's dominance and although Tyrone staged a late rally, the Farney county still managed to close out the game.
In winning the title last year, Monaghan showed a maturity that belied their years and the current side is already showing that they can follow in their footsteps.
Down gained a measure of comfort by getting the better of Fermanagh by 1-12 to 0-11. John McGovern's goal helped to put Down in the driving seat while Odhran Murdock pocketed points from play and frees.
Micheal Glynn, who was outstanding in helping St Michael's College, Enniskillen with the Hogan Cup, was a driving force for Fermanagh throughout.
His accuracy helped to sustain his team's challenge but Down produced a strong finish to negate Glynn's efforts.
Donegal staged a strong finish to overpower Armagh after the visitors had hauled themselves into a good position in the 57th minute by bringing their score to 2-11 while Donegal were on 1-14. Donegal, though, landed 1-4 in the closing minutes against a solitary point for Armagh and this allowed them to win by 2-18 to 2-12.