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McErlain happy to have final say but preaches caution

Antrim 0-10 Derry 3-17

By John Campbell

The prize of a second Ulster minor football championship title in three years title now looms large on the horizon for Derry following this crushing defeat of Antrim in yesterday's semi-final at Clones.

But you won't find manager Damian McErlain engaging in speculation about the possible destination of the provincial crown.

Instead he is already strongly focused on taking in next Saturday's second-semi-final between Down and Cavan.

"They are two good sides and they will certainly have the title in their sights," commented McErlain.

Derry had taken a stranglehold of the contest after just 12 minutes play with Conor McCluskey having converted a penalty and Ben McCarron having landed three points.

A Dermot McErlaine point from a free was the only crumb of comfort that Antrim enjoyed until substitute Ruairi Brolly snapped up their first point from play in first half injury time and the side certainly looked to be in serious difficulties when they trailed by 1-10 to 0-3 at half-time.

But they staged a revival in the third quarter which saw the deficit trimmed to 1-12 to 0-8 before Derry stepped on the accelerator to devastating effect.

Boosted by an infusion of substitutes, the Oak Leaf side glided imperiously through the concluding stages of the game with Oisin McWilliams leading the destruction of the Saffrons with two opportunist goals and substitute Fergal Mortimer contributing three points.

Derry: O Hartin; O McGill, C McCluskey 1-0 (pen), S McKeever; S McErlain, D Rafferty, C McShane; P McGrogan, O McWilliams 2-2; P Quigg 0-2 (1f), R Mullan 0-1, D Cassidy 0-1; B McCarron 0-4, L McWilliams 0-2 (1f), M McGrogan 0-1. Subs: T McHugh 0-1 for M McGrogan (40), F Mortimer 0-3 for P Quigg (40), C Brown for Cassidy (44), C Murphy for Mullan (44), M Bradley for McErlain (57), T Walsh for McWilliams (57).

Antrim: M Byrne; E Nagle, J Toner, A Mulholland; E Kelly, E McCabe, J McCaffrey; E Gibson, J Maybin; D McErlaine 0-3 (3f), T McAteer, J Gribbin; L Quinn 0-1 (1f), D McEnhill, R Kelly 0-3 (1f). Subs: J Linehan for Toner (19), P Henvey from McEnhill (19), R Brolly 0-1 for Maybin (32), S Duffin 0-1 for Gibson (half-time), M Doherty 0-1 for Nagle (40), K McCann for Gribbin (51).

Referee: Anthony Marron (Monaghan).

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