Derry 1-11 Galway 2-9
Derry minor manager Martin Boyle was full of praise for his side’s fighting qualities in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Galway in Parnell Park.
Galway were seven points clear with 10 minutes remaining, but Derry fought their way back, hitting six scores in succession to almost take the clash to extra-time.
“The biggest disappointment is probably that we didn’t perform up to our usual standard in the first-half and the start of the second-half,” Boyle said.
“You have to put that down to and congratulate Galway, fair play to them. They brought serious intensity and serious quality to the game, so fair play to them.
“I am proud of the character of them and the never day die attitude they brought to the last 10 minutes.”
The Oakleafers had a late chance to force to extra-time, but Antain Donnelly pulled his shot wide with the last kick of the game.
Éanna Monaghan and Colm Costello bagged 1-8 between them for Alan Glynn’s side, who had a defensive unit that were tough in the tackle.
Galway got off to the best possible start with a Jack Lonergan goal after five minutes with Monaghan adding a point before Ciaran Chambers opened the Derry account in the 10th minute after a pass from Jonny McGuckian.
Costello added two points and Galway were 1-3 to 0-1 ahead. Lonergan was influential and it was his midfield partner McGlinchey who stretched his side’s lead.
Derry finished the half with pressure on Galway’s kick-out. When they closed the door, Derry went for the jugular.
Odhran Crozier’s punt pass to Conall Higgins opened the defence with Eoin Higgins showing great composure before blasting to the top corner of the net.
Galway lost McGlinchey to a black card just before half-time but, after winning the throw-in, they got the perfect start to the second half.
Cillian Trayers’ pass unlocked the Derry defence and found Costello, who cracked the ball to the back of the net.
It rocked Derry and when Monaghan took his tally to four points, it looked comfortable for a Galway side who had an exceptional defensive unit.
Johnny McGuckian, Conor Downey and Ciaran Chambers (2) had Derry on the front foot with a rampant late charge but Galway held on for victory.
The Oaks — who were down to 14 men after a second booking for Johnny McGuckian — did have a chance to level the game in the closing stages, but Donnelly’s brave effort to save the game went the wrong side of the post.
“It’s good to be competing at the business end of the season and being really competitive,” Boyle added.
“It’s good for us as a county moving forward. The clubs and their schools can take pride in the players they are producing.”
Derry: B O’Connor; E Scullion, J Murray. F McEldowney; O Crozier, D McDermott, S Birt; R Forbes (0-1), S McGlinchey; J McGuckian (0-1), O Murphy, C Spiers (0-1); C Higgins; E Higgins (1-1), C Chambers (0-6, 4f)
Subs: C Downey (0-1) for C Higgins (39), A Donnelly for E Scullion (41), D McGurk for S Birt (51), C Coyle for O Murphy (53)
Galway: K Gilmore; T Farthing, R Flaherty, V Gill; M Mannion, C Trayers, R Coen; J Lonergan (1-0), S McGlinchey (0-1); S Dunne, É Monaghan (0-4), O Morgan; F O’Connor, S Curley, C Costello (1-4, 2f)
Subs: A Colleran for R Flaherty (60), P McNella for R Coen (62), J Summerville for F O’Connor (57), C Cox for S Curley (59), O Kelly for S Dunne (48)
Referee: S Laverty (Antrim)