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Devlin blast turns it in Derry's favour

Antrim 1-09 Derry 4-12

By John Martin

Two first half goals from Aaron Devlin in a three-minute spell sealed an Oak Leaf win over Antrim in last night's Ulster U21 Football Championship quarter-final at Casement Park.

Until Devlin's two-goal salvo, Antrim had looked the better side and led by 0-3 to no score after eight minutes.

Owen Gallagher opened the scoring after just 17 seconds, with a Brendan Bradley brace stretching the lead to three.

Then came the first of Devlin's goals, and the Derry captain will scarcely have scored an easier major.

The Ballinderry clubman was gifted the ball by Antrim defender Fionnbarr O'Neill and had the easiest of tap-ins to level matters on 10 minutes.

For his second, Devlin cleverly chipped Saffron netminder Kylan Allsopp, and Ryan Dougan rocketed to the roof of the Antrim net for the third to help Derry to a 3-3 to 0-5 lead at the break.

If Devlin was the star of the first half, then the second belonged to Christopher Spiers.

The corner forward finished with 1-4, while Ryan Bell added three second half points for the visitors. Gallagher bagged Antrim's goal on 47 minutes but a comeback never looked on the cards.

Meanwhile, Cavan produced a strong scoring burst in extra-time to eventually hurdle Monaghan by 1-16 to 1-12 with outstanding displays from Daragh McVitty and Turlough Mooney and will now meet Down in the semi-final on April 3 with Derry and Donegal crossing swords in the other 'semi'.

Antrim: K Allsopp; F O'Neill, M Johnson, C Hamill; D Stranney, D Lynch, N Delargy; C Sheerin, J Carron (0-2); O Gallagher (1-2), S Tully, P McBride; R Murray, C Duffin, B Bradley (0-3, 2f)

Subs: N McKenna (0-1) for S Tully, M McGarry for F O'Neill, A McKeown (0-1) for C Duffin, M Jordan for P McBride, A Taylor for R Murray

Derry: C Bradley; G McKinless, P Quinn, D Brown; K McKeague, C McAtamney, J Morgan; R O'Kane, R Dougan (1-1); C Kearns (0-2f), R Bell (0-3), C McFaul; D McKinless, A Devlin (2-1), C Spiers (1-4, 1f)

Subs: R Moore (0-1) for R O'Kane, M McCloskey for R Dougan, F Bell for D McKinless, K Conway for C Kearns

Referee: M McNally (Monaghan)

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