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McErlain's boys pip Tyrone to book a spot in last four

Derry Minors 0-18 Tyrone Minors 1-14

By Steven Doherty

Derry progressed to meet Antrim in the Ulster Minor football semi-final after edging a pulsating contest at Celtic Park by the minimum of margins. Midfielder Oisin McWilliams was outstanding for the Oakleafers, while Damian McErlain's side would finish the game with as many as 10 different scorers over the hour.

Paul Devlin's men were much the better side in the opening 30 minutes, but they could not sustain that effort in the second half.

And when Peadar Mullan was dismissed for a second yellow card in the 50th minute it all but sealed Tyrone's fate.

Three points from the impressive Darragh Canavan, son of Peter, backboned Tyrone's 0-9 to 0-6 lead at half-time.

Canavan opened the scoring in the first minute before Derry hit back strongly with Simon McErlain's effort handing the home side the early advantage at 0-3 to 0-1.

The O'Neill county gradually began to dominate, and when they finally found their scores after a raft of wides, they raced to a 0-6 to 0-3 lead when Daniel Millar's point ensured that every Tyrone forward had worked the scoreboard.

However, Derry bit back with Oisin McWilliams' '45' the centrepiece of their mini-revival which drew the sides level at 0-6 apiece in the 28th minute.

But it would be Tyrone who would finish the half the strongest with a brace of points from young Canavan handing the Red Hands a three-point lead at the break.

Badly under par in the first half, Derry quickly slipped into top gear in the second.

Trailing 0-12 to 0-10 with 20 minutes to go, Damian McErlain's men took a firm grip in midfield and proceeded to reel off eight of the next nine points to lead 0-18 to 0-13 in injury time.

Impact sub Lorcan McWilliams began the Derry scoring glut, and he had solid support from Paddy Quigg, Richie Mullan, Fergal Mortimer and captain Padraig McGrogan.

Derry appeared home and hosed until referee Conor Dourneen awarded Tyrone a late penalty for a foot block.

PT Cunningham drilled the ball below 'keeper Oran Hartin to leave it just a one-point game.

But the full time whistle followed soon after and Derry would not be denied.

Scorers: Derry: Oisin McWilliams 0-4 (0-1f), Paddy Quigg 0-3 (0-2f), Lorcan McWilliams 0-3 (0-2f), Richie Mullan 0-2, Simon McErlain 0-1, Declan Cassidy 0-1, JP Devlin 0-1, Padraig McGrogan 0-1, Fergal Mortimer 0-1, Mark McGrogan 0-1. Tyrone: PT Cunningham 1-2 (0-2f), Darragh Canavan 0-3, Jude Campbell 0-2, Matthew McGuigan 0-1, Peter Og McCartan 0-1, Daniel Millar 0-1, Brian McNulty 0-1, Ruairi Gormley 0-1, Adam Connolly 0-1, Oran Mallon 0-1

Derry: Hartin, McCluskey, McGill, McKeever, McShane, McGrogan, McErlain, McWilliams, Rafferty, Quigg, Cassidy, Devlin, Mullan, Doherty, Murphy. Subs: McCarron for A Doherty (30), McWilliams for Murphy (30), Bradley for McKeever (HT), Mortimer for Devlin (44), McGrogan for Cassidy (44), Walsh for Mortimer (BC 59)

Tyrone: Quinn, Breen, Fox, Mullan, McGuigan, Grimes, Devlin, McNulty, Gormley, McGuigan, Og McCartan, Millar, Campbell, Cunningham, Canavan. Subs: Connolly for Gormley (48), Quinn for Campbell (51), Mallon for McNulty (54), Sludden for McGuigan (58).

Referee: Conor Dourneen (Cavan).

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